Dontrell Brite sparked University of Mount Olive to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game and finished with a career-high 26 points as the Trojans celebrated the 31st Annual Mount Olive Basketball Church Night with a 91-69 victory over North Greenville in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Mike Moore matched a career high with 19 points as the Trojans extended their winning streak to four.
Brite hit a three-pointer just 13 seconds into the contest and capped Mount Olive's (12-7 overall, 6-3 Conference Carolinas) game-opening nine-point run with a layup with 18:24 left in the first half. Chris Dean's three-point play after a North Greenville timeout put the Crusaders on the board and a three-point play by Micah Parker helped cut Mount Olive's lead to 12-10 with 14:59 remaining.
A jumper and a three-pointer by Moore helped Mount Olive stretch the lead to eight and the Trojans maintained at least a two-possession lead the remainder of the contest. A late scoring run helped the Trojans build the lead to as many as 15 points before halftime. Brite hit all three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt from the right corner, John Wieland connected twice from beyond the arc and Kendall Hargrove had putback dunks on back-to-back possessions to help put Mount Olive up 46-31 with 1:07 remaining in the half.
North Greenville rallied in the final half minute as Phillip Brown's tip-in ended the Crusaders' two-minute scoreless drought. Brown recorded a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 19 rebounds. After a Trojan turnover with three seconds left, Keith Johnson banked a three-pointer from the half-court line at the buzzer to pull North Greenville within 46-36 at the half.
Johnson hit another three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half to pull North Greenville within seven. The margin was still in single digits nearly six minutes into the second half before baskets by Brite and Dominique Reed helped push Mount Olive's lead to 58-46 and the Trojans kept a double-digit advantage the rest of the way.
The margin reached the 20-point mark for the first time after Moore's jumper gave Mount Olive an 81-61 lead with 5:38 remaining. The lead grew to as many as 24 points at 85-61 on another jumper by Moore. Brite's three-pointer with 1:07 remaining as the shot clock expired broke a tie with his previous career best, set just 10 days earlier against Lees-McRae.
Brite was 9-for-15 from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range. He also hit 5-of-7 free throws. In December, Brite scored 30 points in a two-point loss at Division I East Carolina in December, but the contest was classified as an exhibition game for Mount Olive neither the Trojans' team nor individual statistics counted.
Wieland finished with 13 points off the bench for Mount Olive, while Hargrove set a career high with 12 rebounds and matched a career best with four blocked shots. Brite dished out six assists and Hines added five assists.
Johnson led North Greenville with 16 points, while Parker added 14 points for the Crusaders.
Saturday's win avenges a 97-91 loss at North Greenville in January.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans take on Pfeiffer in a Conference Carolinas match-up at Misenheimer, N.C. The Trojans defeated the Falcons 94-82 December 4 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.