Dontrell Brite scored 18 points and Kendall Hargrove's monstrous dunk midway through the first half triggered a scoring run to put University of Mount Olive ahead to stay as the top-seeded Trojans defeated No. 8 seed Pfeiffer 77-68 in a quarterfinal-round game of the 2014 Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament Powered By OrthoCarolina Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Regionally eighth-ranked Mount Olive led by as many as 16 points in the second half.
With the win, the Trojans advance to the semifinal round against No. 4 seed Limestone, which defeated No. 5 seed Erskine 45-44 Saturday.The semifinal is slated for Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Cabarrus Arena in Concord, N.C.
Mount Olive (19-8) trailed by as many as five points in the first half before Hargrove grabbed a long rebound just inside halfcourt on a missed Pfeiffer shot with just under nine minutes left in the first half. Hargrove had nothing but daylight between him and the basket, and put home a two-handed overhead slam dunk to put the Trojans on top 22-21 with 8:49 remaining.
Mike Moore answered a Pfeiffer basket with a three-pointer and combined with Brite to hit four straight free throws to complete a 13-4 run and give the Trojans a 31-25 lead with 6:22 left. Pfeiffer (6-21) got as close as three points after a three-pointer by A.J. Clark, but Mount Olive ended the half on another dunk and a layup by Hargrove in the final 46 seconds and took a 41-32 lead into the locker room. Hargrove scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half.
The lead reached double figures for the first time after Ewon Wright opened the second-half scoring with a 15-foot jumper. Pfeiffer then went on a run and again cut the margin to three as Andrew Guerrero's three-pointer and David McNair's jumper pulled the Falcons within 45-42 with 16:12 left to play.
That would be as close as Pfeiffer would get as a dunk by Hargrove off an inbounds play triggered a 6-0 run to extend the lead to nine. The margin reached double figures again at 56-46 and Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the game at 65-49 with 7:50 remaining after Dory Hines drove the lane and found John Wieland on the right wing for an open three-pointer.
The Trojans' lead stayed in double figures until Mike Smith hit a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left to pull the Falcons within 75-66. Wieland sealed the win with a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining.
Dominique Reed added 12 points for Mount Olive, while Dory Hines narrowly missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Guerrero led all players with 19 points for Pfeiffer, while Smith added 17 points. David McNair recorded a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Silvere Aluko had six blocked shots for the Falcons.
Mount Olive won both regular season meetings against Limestone this year, but the Trojans have been eliminated from the tournament by the Saints in two of the last three years. The winner advances to the championship game, which is slated for Thursday at 8 p.m. at Cabarrus Arena.