Mike Moore scored a season-high 24 points, but University of Mount Olive's late rally came up short as the second-seeded Trojans fell to top-seeded and tournament host King University 77-69 in the semifinal round of the 2016 Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday at Bristol, Tenn. The Trojans end their season at 17-13.
Mount Olive led by as many as seven in the first half, but the Trojans' only lead in the second half was at 45-43 with 16:53 remaining. The game saw four ties over the next seven minutes, the last coming with 9:22 left at 56-56. King (24-6) used back-to-back three-pointers by Derick Pope and Hunter LeVeau to trigger a 10-0 run to break the tie and take the lead for good.
The Trojans still trailed by 10 before Jamaal Matin scored all the points in a 6-0 run with a three-pointer and three free throws to pull Mount Olive within 71-67 with 2:42 left to play. Dominique Reed answered a pair of Tornado free throws with two free throws of his own with 1:55 remaining, but the Trojans came up empty on each of their final three possessions of the contest.
In the first half, Moore hit two of his four three-pointers in the first three minutes of the game to help stake Mount Olive to a 10-3 lead. After King rallied to tie the game, Tayon Gleaves put the Trojans back on top 29-26 with a three-pointer with 4:42 left before halftime. The Tornado regained the lead, but three-pointers by Gleaves and Moore gave Mount Olive a 37-33 lead with 2:37 remaining.
C.J. Good's three-pointer highlighted a 7-0 King run to end the half and the Tornado led 40-37 at halftime. The margin grew to five in the opening minute of the second half before Moore's layup capped a 6-1 run to put the Trojans back on top 44-43.
Reed finished with 16 points for Mount Olive and shared team-high honors with Moore with six rebounds. Gleaves added 14 points off the bench, while Dontrell Brite shared game-high honors with five assists.
Brite finished his career in fifth place on the UMO all-time scoring list with 1,624 points and third in Trojan history with 483 career assists. Reed also surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career with 1,099 points. Moore finished with 921 career points.
Good led a balanced King attack with 14 points, while Pope and James Scales added 13 points apiece.
Mount Olive entered Saturday's game unranked in this week's NCAA Division II Southeast Region Top 10 and likely needed to win the conference title and earn an automatic bid for a chance to return to the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship. The Trojans won the Southeast Regional last year and advanced to the Elite Eight.