Dontrell Brite scored a career-high 27 points, while Kendall Hargrove recorded a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 15 rebounds as University of Mount Olive defeated Limestone College 80-75 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Gaffney, S.C. The win, Mount Olive's ninth in its last 10 games, clinches a home game for the Trojans in the quarterfinal round of the Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament.
Mount Olive (17-8 overall, 11-4 Conference Carolinas) battled through 22 lead changes and 14 ties before Hargrove's layup with 5:21 left to play off of a steal by Brite broke a 64-64 tie and put the Trojans ahead to stay. Brite added a basket and two free throws to make it a six-point game before Josh Odem hit a three-pointer to pull Limestone within 70-67 with 2:58 remaining.
Brite hit a jumper on Mount Olive's next possession and Dominique Reed's putback with 1:36 left gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 74-67. P.J. Foster kept Limestone in the game with a three-pointer and after Jordan McCain hit a pair of free throws for the Trojans, Odem hit another three for the Saints to close the gap to 78-75 with 11 seconds left.
McCain was fouled with nine seconds remaining and hit both free throws to seal the win.
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half and Reed's basket with 26 seconds left broke the eighth tie of the half to give Mount Olive a 36-34 halftime lead.
Limestone (17-8, 9-6) matched its biggest lead of the game after Odem's transition basket gave the Saints a 54-49 advantage with 12:02 remaining in the contest. The Trojans pulled within a field goal after a dunk by Hargrove, but Odem answered with a three-pointer for Limestone.
Mount Olive rallied to tie on a jumper and a three-pointer by Brite, and Mike Moore's basket with 7:34 left completed a 7-0 run to put the Trojans back on top 61-59. After Foster and McCain traded three-pointers, a basket by Foster with 6:15 left tied the game for the final time.
Brite (11-for-18), Hargrove (7-for-13) and Reed (5-for-6) combined to shoot 62.2 percent from the floor as Mount Olive shot 53.4 percent as a team. Reed finished with 11 points.
Odem finished with a game-high 28 points off the bench for Limestone, while Foster added 18 points.
With one regular season game remaining, Mount Olive is in sole possession of second place in the conference standings. The Trojans are a game behind conference leader Barton and one game ahead of third place King. The Trojans will be the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 seed in the conference tournament and will host a first-round game next Saturday.
Mount Olive concludes regular season action Tuesday as the Trojans play host to Barton in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Mount Olive won the first meeting 73-67 January 30 at Barton. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.
Four Trojan seniors will be recognized prior to the game during Senior Night ceremonies. Dory Hines and Ewon Wright will be honored, along with team manager Clay Harrell and Trojan cheerleader Trey Darby.