Dontrell Brite hit 16-of-19 free throws, including 9-of-10 in the final two-plus minutes as University of Mount Olive completed a regular season series sweep over Barton College to share the regular season conference title with the Bulldogs and earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament with a 75-72 victory in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Tuesday at Kornegay Arena. Brite finished with 26 points as the regionally seventh-ranked Trojans won for the 10th time in their last 11 games
Mount Olive will play host to No. 8 Pfeiffer in the first round of the 2014 Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Game time has not yet been announced, but will likely be at either 4 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., after the Trojan women's basketball team's first round game.
Mount Olive (18-8 overall, 12-4 Conference Carolinas) took the lead for good with 2:43 left in the contest when Jordan McCain hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to break a 62-62 tie. Brite followed with a pair of free throws on Mount Olive's next possession as the Trojans scored all of their remaining points from the free throw line.
Brite answered a Travis McEachern basket with two more free throws and went 1-of-2 from the line with 34 seconds left to give Mount Olive a 70-64 lead. The miss on the second attempt ended a streak of nine consecutive made free throws after the Trojans started off 10-for-19 from the line.
Barton (16-10, 12-4) cut the lead in half with 23 seconds left as Chris Flemmings converted a three-point play. After McCain hit 1-of-2 free throws one second later, Flemmings hit a 15-foot jumper with 17 seconds remaining. Brite drew a foul and hit both free throws to make it a two-possession game at 73-69 with 10 seconds left.
Flemmings made it a one-point game with a three-pointer with five seconds left. Brite was fouled immediately and hit both free throws, forcing Barton to go for a three. A 35-foot attempt against a Trojan double team was well off the mark at the buzzer.
Mount Olive trailed by as many as six points in the first half, but Ewon Wright's three-pointer with 10 seconds left pulled the Trojans within 30-29. Zach Faircloth hit a layup for Barton just before the buzzer and the Bulldogs went into halftime with a 32-29 lead.
The Trojans inbounded the ball to start the second half and on a set play, Wright hit another three from the top of the key to tie the game. Through the first 17 minutes of the second half, the lead changed hands 10 times and neither team led by more than four points until McCain's go-ahead three-pointer.
Flemmings led all players with 30 points for Barton.
Mount Olive went 24-for-35 from the free throw line, while Barton was 8-for-16.
Prior to the game Trojan seniors Dory Hines and Ewon Wright were recognized during Senior Night ceremonies, along with student assistant Clay Harrell and Trojan cheerleader Trey Darby.
Mount Olive has won or shared the regular season conference title four times in the last seven years. The Trojans and Barton were also regular season co-champions in 2008-09.