Mount Olive Falls To Erskine 77-65

Mount Olive Falls To Erskine 77-65

Mount Olive built an early double-digit lead, but never recovered from a 19-point Erskine run as the Trojans fell to the Flying Fleet 77-65 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. Kendall Hargrove was a perfect 8-for-8 from the field and led the Trojans with 16 points and a game-high five steals off the bench.

Mount Olive (1-4 overall, 0-3 Conference Carolinas) held Erskine to a field goal over a span of nearly five minutes in the first half as Darrell Patterson's three-pointer and Jordan McCain's layup gave the Trojans a 17-10 lead with 13:31 left in the first half. Ewon Wright added a three-pointer and Mike Moore hit a short jumper in the paint as Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the game at 24-14 with exactly nine minutes remaining. But the Trojans would score only two more points the remainder of the half.

Erskine (4-1, 2-1) scored on four of its next five possessions, including six straight points by Corey Sorrell to pull the Flying Fleet within a basket. Roderick Perkins' layup tied the game Jake Haslam's layup with 4:06 left in the gave the Flying Fleet the lead for good at 26-24. Sorrell followed with a three-point play and another layup, while DeShaun Hall's jumper with 2:08 remaining capped a 19-0 run and gave Erskine a 33-24 lead.

Mount Olive was stopped on 13 consecutive possessions after building its 10-point lead. The Trojans missed eight consecutive shot attempts during the stretch - six from three-point range - and did not record an offensive rebound on any of the possessions. Hargrove's runner in the lane with 59 seconds left in the half ended Mount Olive's eight-minute drought and pulled the Trojans within 33-26 at the half.

Dory Hines hit a layup on the opening possession of the second half to pull Mount Olive within five. But back-to-back three-pointers by Hall and Haslam highlighted a 10-1 run to give Erskine its first double-digit lead at 43-29 with 16:23 left to play.

Three-pointers by McCain and Wright helped bring the margin back down to single digits and Hargrove's layup pulled Mount Olive within 55-49 with 11:25 remaining. Erskine came back with 10 unanswered points and the Flying Fleet's lead stayed in double figures over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

The margin grew to as many as 18 points before Wright connected on a pair of three pointers late in the game to get Mount Olive as close as 75-65.

Wright finished with 12 points off the bench for Mount Olive, all from three-point range. Hines had his three-game streak of double-doubles snapped, finishing with nine points and seven assists.

All five Erskine starters finished in double figures, led by Sorrell with a game-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds and four assists. Hall recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Mount Olive returns to action Thursday as the Trojans travel to Aiken, S.C., to take on USC Aiken in a non-conference match-up. This will mark the first meeting between the two teams since the Trojans fell to the then-nationally top-ranked Pacers 93-80 in the 2008 Pickle Classic. The loss snapped Mount Olive's eight-year and 17-game winning streak in the Pickle Classic. Tip-off is 7 p.m.