02/12/04 — Trojan teams prepare for Crusaders

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Trojan teams prepare for Crusaders

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 12, 2004 2:00 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Just for fun, Mount Olive College basketball player Marcus West attempted the same 80-foot shot in practice yesterday that he hit at the end of the Trojans' win over Pfeiffer Monday.

Apart from that one shot, yesterday's practice was focused entirely on preparing for tonight's game.

"The hype from the Pfeiffer game is way behind us," said West. "The only thing we're thinking about right now is Belmont Abbey."

Mount Olive takes to the road tonight as the Trojans travel to Belmont to face Belmont Abbey in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.

Mount Olive (17-3 overall, 11-2 CVAC) is coming off perhaps its biggest win in school history as the Trojans defeated No. 2 Pfeiffer 108-105 Monday at College Hall. West, who scored a team-high 22 points, heaved a line-drive shot from 80 feet out at the buzzer for the game-winner.

Sharome Holloway, whose free throw with 28 seconds left tied the game, recorded career highs of 20 points and 13 rebounds to go with three blocked shots. Victor Young scored 17 points and Maurice Horton added 16 points.

Horton started at point guard Monday for injured senior Janson Greene, who is out with a broken foot. Greene is expected to have his foot in a cast for approximately two weeks. Horton, who has started eight games for the Trojans this season, leads the CVAC in steals with an average of 2.1 per game.

Belmont Abbey (14-6, 8-5) withstood a late rally Monday to defeat Anderson 55-49. The Crusaders saw an 18-point lead trimmed down to two before holding on. Greg LaVann led Belmont Abbey with 14 points.

Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey 74-56 in the teams' first meeting January 19. The Trojans outscored Belmont Abbey 17-4 over the final seven minutes to break open a close game. Holloway led Mount Olive with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.

Coincidentally, just as Monday's game against Pfeiffer came down to the final buzzer, so did last year's contest at Belmont Abbey as Victor Young's buzzer-beater gave the Trojans a 65-63 win.

West expects tonight's game to go down to the wire.

"Belmont Abbey is a great team and it's going to be a battle," said West. "We have to play like played against Pfeiffer."

By the way, West missed his 80-foot attempt during practice yesterday.

But at least he made the one that counted.

Trojan women

try for win streak

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive College women's basketball team picked up a much-needed win Monday against Pfeiffer. Now the Trojans will try to stay on a winning track tonight, although they may have to do it without two of their starters.

Mount Olive travels to Belmont tonight as the Trojans take on Belmont Abbey in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.

Mount Olive (8-12 overall, 4-9 CVAC) snapped a four-game losing skid Monday with a 72-62 win over Pfeiffer. Ladora Charles scored 18 points, including 7-of-8 free throws in the final 40 seconds of the game. Teneal Boone recorded her second consecutive double-double and her sixth of the year with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Monday's game marked the 10th time this season Boone has reached double figures in rebounding.

Boone stepped up Monday in the absence of frontcourt-mate Latoria Harvey, who went down with an ankle sprain midway through the first half. Harvey already had 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the first nine minutes, but had to sit out the rest of the game.

She is listed as doubtful for tonight's game, as is starting point guard LeAnn Simms, who suffered a knee injury two weeks ago against Anderson and has seen only limited action since.

Charles has scored at least 15 points in 15 of her 19 games played this season, including four of her last five. Charles ranks sixth in the CVAC in scoring with an average of 16.1 points per game. She also ranks seventh in steals and eighth in assists.

Goldsboro High School graduate Brandy Smith has been on a scoring tear as of late, reaching double figures in five of her last six CVAC games.

Smith, who scored a career-high 20 points against Anderson two weeks ago, is averaging 14.5 points over her last six CVAC games.

Belmont Abbey (12-8, 9-4) is coming off a 95-88 loss at Anderson Monday.

Nicole Woods scored a career-high 31 points for Belmont Abbey, which had led by as many as 15 points.

In the first meeting this season between the two teams, Belmont Abbey used a 20-3 run midway through the first half to overcome a seven-point deficit and defeat Mount Olive 74-67 January 19 at College Hall. Charles led four players in double figures with 20 points.

MOC men slip to No. 3 in regional poll

MOUNT OLIVE -- After three consecutive weeks at No. 2, Mount Olive slipped one spot to No. 3 in this week's NCAA Division II Men's Basketball East Region Poll, it was announced Wednesday.

This week's regional ranking, which is based on games played through Sunday, comes two days after the Trojans defeated regional No. 1 Pfeiffer 108-105 on Marcus West's 75-foot buzzer-beater, which has been featured on national cable networks and local broadcast stations throughout the nation.

Mount Olive is 17-3 overall and 11-2 in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference. The Trojans have won 14 of their last 15 games.

Mount Olive is one of three CVAC teams ranked in the East Region top 10.

Pfeiffer holds at No. 1 for the fourth straight week, while Queens moves up a spot to No. 10. Belmont Abbey falls out of the top 10 after being ranked No. 7 last week. The East Region is comprised of teams in the CVAC, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC). The three conference champions and five at-large teams will advance to NCAA II post-season play next month. California (Pa.), one of three PSAC teams in the poll, moved ahead of Mount Olive at No. 2.

The regional poll will be released weekly on Wednesdays through March 3.