Kendall Hargrove and Mike Moore combined for 10 points during a game-breaking 16-0 run across each half as nationally 10th-ranked Mount Olive defeated Erskine 78-51 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Kornegay Arena. Hargrove, Moore, Dontrell Brite and Dominique Reed scored 12 points apiece as the Trojans improved on their best start in school history. Mount Olive played its bench for the final 10-plus minutes of the game as the margin ballooned to as many as 34 points in the second half.
Mount Olive (8-0 overall, 2-0 Conference Carolinas) held Erskine to single digits more than 12 minutes into the contest as the Trojans built a 24-8 lead. Jordan McCain's three-pointer with 7:34 left gave Mount Olive its biggest lead of the first half at 27-10.
Erskine (1-4, 1-2) inched its way back into the contest as Thomas Nolan's three-pointer triggered a 10-3 run to pull the Flying Fleet within 30-20 with 3:38 left before halftime. But Mount Olive would score the final six points of the half, capped by Moore's putback dunk with 45 seconds left to give the Trojans a 36-20 lead at intermission.
In the opening minute of the second half, Reed made a steal to set up a Hargrove layup and hit a layup of his own to continue the Trojans' scoring run. Moore scored the game's next four points on a layup and a dunk, and JaQuan Blount's steal and layup finished the run to extend Mount Olive's lead to 46-20 with 17:24 left to play. The lead eclipsed the 30-point margin at 58-27 with 12:24 remaining and Brite's three-pointer with 11:06 left gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 63-29. Mount Olive took out its starters on the next deadball.
Moore pulled down a game-high seven rebounds for Mount Olive, while Hargrove added six rebounds. Brite, who ranks seventh in the nation with 7.0 assists per game, dished out four assists in 26 minutes.
Erskine was led by Marcus Daniels with a game-high 13 points. The Flying Fleet played 16 players.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans travel to Franklin Springs, Ga., to take on first-year conference member Emmanuel in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Tip-off is 4 p.m.