University of Mount Olive built an 11-point second-half lead, but a foul during a scramble for a loose ball led to the deciding free throws with 2.3 seconds left as the Trojans fell to Erskine College 67-66 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Due West, S.C. Mike Moore led the Trojans with 19 points and seven rebounds.
Mount Olive (15-10 overall, 10-7 Conference Carolinas) led 63-52 with 5:28 left to play after Dontrell Brite split a pair of defenders in the lane for a running jumper. Erskine (12-10, 9-7) pulled with a field goal after Thomas Nolan, Jr.'s three-pointer from the left corner with 3:32 remaining capped a 9-0 run.
Brite drew a foul on a layup and converted a three-point play to give Mount Olive a 66-61 lead with exactly three minutes remaining. But those would be the Trojans' final points of the contest.
Erskine climbed within a point as Ray Lock hit a pair of free throws with 2:02 left and Brannon Dark added two free throws with 1:20 remaining. The Flying Fleet had a chance to go on top, but the Trojans forced a turnover with 40 seconds left.
After a 30-second timeout, Mount Olive ran the clock down to 13 seconds before missing a 15-foot jumper. The Trojans appeared to force another turnover in the lane, but Joby Glymph came up with the ball underneath the basket and was fouled on a shot attempt. After hitting all net on the first attempt to tie the game, Glymph's second attempt started to rattle out, but fell in to give the Flying Fleet their first lead since the 13:07 mark in the second half.
Brite's half-court runner at the buzzer was on target, but bounced off the inside of the rim.
Mount Olive spotted Erskine the first seven points of the game, but the Trojans came back to forge a 22-22 tie with 6:22 remaining after back-to-back three-pointers by Jacque Brown and Tayon Gleaves. Mount Olive took its first lead of the game at 31-30 on Gleaves' three-pointer with 1:29 remaining and the Trojans went into the locker room tied with the Flying Fleet 32-32.
The beginning of the second half was virtually a repeat of the first half as Erskine scored the first six points. Moore hit a pair of three-pointers and began and ended a 21-6 run to give Mount Olive a 53-44 lead with 10:44 left in the contest. After a pair of free throws by Glymph, John Wieland's three-pointer with 10:17 remaining gave the Trojans their first double-digit lead at 56-46.
Gleaves matched Moore with three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points. Brite scored all of his 10 points in the second half. The Trojans went 7-for-13 from the free throw line, compared to 20-for-25 for Erskine.
Erskine was led by Glymph, who went 8-for-10 from the line and scored a game-high 24 points.
Mount Olive is idle until next Saturday when the Trojans play host to Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas action. The Trojans fell to the Falcons 87-71 January 16 at Misenheimer, N.C. Saturday's tip-off is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.