University of Mount Olive cut a 25-point halftime deficit down to seven, but the rally came up short and the Trojans' five-game winning streak came to an end with a 115-95 loss to conference leader King University Saturday at Bristol, Tenn. Dontrell Brite, Kendall Hargrove and John Wieland led five Trojans in double figures with 17 points apiece. King hit 11 of its first 15 three-point attempts and finished 21-of-35 from three-point range.
Mount Olive (13-8 overall, 7-4 Conference Carolinas) opened the second half with a 13-4 run as Ewon Wright hit a pair of three-pointers to help the Trojans pull within 64-48 with 16:36 left to play. King (12-9, 9-2) built the lead back to as many as 21 points and held a 77-58 lead with 12:08 remaining before Mount Olive made a run to get back in the game.
Brite and John Wieland connected on back-to-back three-pointers and Dory Hines added a pair of free throws in an 8-0 Trojan run. After a King free throw, Hargrove sank 2-of-2 free throws and Wieland hit his second 3-pointer in a 62-second span to cut the margin to single digits for the first time since midway through the first half, pulling the Trojans within 78-71 with 10:32 remaining.
King's Logan Lyle sandwiched a pair of three-pointers around a Hargrove dunk to push the lead to 84-73 with 9:32 left and the Tornado led by double figures the remainder of the contest.
In the first half, Mount Olive led 13-9 five minutes into the contest after baskets by Brite and Jordan McCain. King took the lead for good on back-to-back three-pointers by Lyle and James Scales. Brite's three-pointer pulled the Trojans within 18-16, but the Tornado hit six 3-pointers during a 24-5 run and built the lead to 42-21 with 6:50 remaining in the first half.
Kendall Hargrove converted a three-point play and scored seven straight Mount Olive points, but the Trojans never got any closer than 16 points the rest of the half. Hunter LeVeau hit his fifth three-pointer of the half for King with 18 seconds left and the Tornado led 60-35 at the break.
Wieland hit 4-of-6 three-pointers and scored all of his points in the second half, while Wright was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half. McCain finished with 12 points for the Trojans. Hargrove went 9-for-11 from the free throw line and pulled down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
LeVeau went 7-for-9 from three-point range and matched a career high with 27 points for King. Shamarae Watts scored 20 points on 7-for-7 shooting and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds. Lyle hit 5-of-7 three-pointers and added 19 points.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Belmont, N.C., to take on Belmont Abbey in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Mount Olive defeated the Crusaders 92-79 January 18 at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.