Dominique Reed led the preseason No. 6 ranked University of Mount Olive to an 81-64 victory over USC Aiken Friday night in Wilson, N.C. as part of the Barton 45-Second Men's Basketball Classic. The win extends the Trojans regular game win streak to 16, from 2014-15 season.
Mount Olive (1-0) used a big first half to take a 35 point lead at the half. The Trojans went 13-for-17 from three point range and never looked back. USC Aiken (0-1) fought back in the second half to bring the Mount Olive lead down to as low as 13, but that was as close as the Pacers got.
Mount Olive started off the game hot as Dominque Reed got the first points of the game. Dontrell Brite picked the pocket of a USC Aiken player and found John Wieland wide open on the wing for three as the Trojans jumped ahead to a 5-0 lead. The Trojans continued to press as Reed was fouled with 16:05. After two free throws, Mount Olive went on an 11-0 run to push the lead to 26-10.
"I was really proud of the guys and how we started because that was something we struggled with last year and this year in preseason" said head coach Joey Higginbotham.
Both teams exchanged baskets for the next eight minutes, but the Trojan lead continued to grow as two free throws by Brite ended a six point run taking the score to 46-20 with 6:07 left in the first half. The Trojans hit a trio of three-pointers in a row to force USC Aiken to call a timeout as the lead went to 55-23 with 2:14.
The Pacers ended the half on an 8-3 run and the Trojans led 57-33 going into the locker room.
In the second half, Mount Olive cooled off as the Pacers started to crawl back bringing the lead to 63-41 midway through. Jevon Patton, of USC Aiken, was fouled and converted two free throws to begin six unanswered points as the Trojan lead fell to 65-50 with 7:38. Mike Moore ended the run with a layup 15 seconds later.
USC Aiken spouted off a six point run with just under five and a half left in regulation to bring the Trojan lead down to 13 with 2:45. In the final minute however, the Pacers were forced to foul and Mount Olive was perfect at the line going 4-for-4.
Reed led the team with 17 points. Mike Moore finished the night with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brite had 12 and Grant Dickinson rounded out the foursome in double figures with 10 points. Blount also had a near triple-double as he finished with seven points, six boards, and six assists.
"Our team is really deep and we work really hard on the defensive end and always have fresh guys coming off the bench ready to produce" said Mike Moore on the team's scoring depth.
Mount Olive will play its second game in the Barton 45-Second Classic Saturday, at 2 p.m. against Young Harris.