University of Mount Olive erased a seven-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to force overtime, but regionally ninth-ranked Barton used a pair of late three-pointers to break a tie game and hand the Trojans a 96-92 loss in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Wednesday at Wilson, N.C. Dontrell Brite scored a game-high 28 points for the Trojans, which had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Mount Olive (13-8 overall, 8-5 Conference Carolinas) trailed by as many as 10 points in the second half and was still down 84-77 before Brite found Dominique Reed for a two-handed overhead dunk with 1:45 left in regulations to start the Trojans' rally. Brite drew a foul after forcing a Barton turnover on the inbound pass and sank a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game.
Barton turned the ball over again and Mike Moore buried a three-pointer from the right wing to tie the game 84-84 with 59 seconds left. Barton regained the lead on Danny Shand's 10-foot floater in the lane on the Bulldogs' ensuing possession. Reed answered with a layup with 20 seconds remaining to tie the game 86-86.
The Bulldogs missed a short jumper with two seconds remaining and a Trojan desperation shot from halfcourt hit the front of the rim to send Mount Olive to overtime for the second time this season and first time since Pickle Classic in November.
Both teams struggled to score in the early going of overtime. After Barton (15-6, 10-3) hit 2-of-6 free throws in the first 75 seconds of the extra period, Brite hit a layup for Mount Olive's first points to tie the game 88-88.
The score remained tied until Barton took the lead for good on Matt Woods' three-pointer from the right wing with exactly two minutes remaining. After Mount Olive missed its fifth straight three-point attempt of the overtime period, Daniel Westbrook hit a three from the top of the key with 1:03 left to play to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 94-88.
Jacque Brown's layup with 48 seconds left ended Mount Olive's three-minute scoreless drought, but Westbrook sealed the win for Barton with a pair of free throws with 21 seconds left. Jamaal Matin put home a dunk for the Trojans just before the buzzer for the final margin.
In the first half, Mount Olive used a pair of scoring runs to overcome Barton leads early in the game. The Trojans spotted the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead before coming back with 10 unanswered points. Barton rallied to take a five-point lead, but Dontrell Brite's three-pointer capped a 7-0 run to put the Trojans back on top 21-19 with 9:55 left before halftime.
Barton put together a scoring run of its own to take the lead for the remainder of the half. Danny Shand's basket tied the game and Matt Woods hit all three free throws after getting fouled on a three-point attempt to cap an 11-0 run and give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the half at 30-21 with 7:07 remaining.
Another three by Brite halted Barton's run, while Matin's three-pointer and JaQuan Blount's end-to-end floating right-hand layup helped pull Mount Olive within 37-33 with 4:32 left. After the Trojans pulled within a single point after a Mykel Hart dunk, Tashawn Sampson sandwiched a pair of three-pointers for Barton around another three by Brite as the Bulldogs extended their lead to 45-39.
The Trojans pulled within four with 24 seconds left when Brite found Reed under the basket for a. Barton answered with Jake Veasley's baseline drive to take a 49-43 halftime lead over Mount Olive.
Westbrook hit a three-pointer for Barton to open the second half and the Bulldogs' lead stretched to double digits at 65-55 with 12:53 left in regulation. Mount Olive stormed back as Tayon Gleaves' three-pointer and Brown's go-ahead layup highlighted a 17-5 run to put the Trojans on top for the first time in the second half at 72-70 with 6:04 remaining.
Barton regained the lead and appeared headed to a win in regulation before Mount Olive's frantic comeback.
Brite, who was a perfect 11-for-11 from the free throw line, also dished out six assists and pulled down six rebounds. Reed added 15 points, while Blount and Brown scored 10 points apiece off the bench. Blount also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
Westbrook finished with 25 points for Barton on 8-for-11 shooting. Shand added 15 points and nine assists for the Bulldogs.
Despite the loss, the Trojans eclipsed the 90-point mark for the fifth consecutive game.
Mount Olive plays its second-straight regional top 10 opponent Saturday as theTrojans travel to Bristol, Tenn., to take on regionally sixth-ranked King in a Conference Carolinas match-up. In its first meeting against King, Mount Olive opened its four-game winning streak and five-game 90-point scoring streak with a 92-76 victory over the Tornado two weeks ago at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 4 p.m.