02/23/04 — MOC hoops looks to gain momentum

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MOC hoops looks to gain momentum

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 23, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive men's basketball team is already assured of receiving a first-round bye in next week's conference tournament. Now, the Trojans are working towards gaining homecourt advantage in the quarterfinal round, as well as keeping their ranking in the NCAA II East Region Poll.

Mount Olive opens the final week of the regular season tonight as the Trojans travel to Laurinburg, N.C., in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. and Live Stats of the game are available on the Mount Olive College website at www.moc.edu <http://www.moc.edu/ . (Click "Athletics.") Mount Olive (18-6 overall, 12-5 CVAC) snapped a three-game losing skid Saturday as the Trojans celebrated the school's 21st Annual Basketball Church Night with a 100-70 win over Lees-McRae. Sean Barnett scored 16 points and Johnny Galarza added 15 points to lead the Trojans. Barnett and Marcus West combined for slam dunks on three consecutive possessions during a span of 47 seconds late in the second half to put the game away. Saturday's game marked the third time this season and second time in the last five games Mount Olive has reached the 100-point mark.

St. Andrews (6-19, 4-14) is coming off an 84-59 loss at Erskine Saturday. David Truesdale led St. Andrews with 13 points.

Mount Olive defeated St. Andrews 89-67 January 27 at College Hall in a game that was pushed back a day due to a winter storm. Brad McDougald led six players in double figures with 13 points.

Saturday's win officially clinched a first-round bye for Mount Olive in next week's CVAC Tournament. One more win by Mount Olive or a loss by Barton or Belmont Abbey assures the Trojans of playing their quarterfinal round game at College Hall. Mount Olive is currently in third place in the CVAC standings, one game behind second-place Queens and a game-and-a-half ahead of Barton and Belmont Abbey, which are tied for fourth after Belmont Abbey's overtime victory at Barton Saturday.

Along with seeding and homecourt advantage in the CVAC Tournament, the Trojans hope to remain ranked high enough in the NCAA Division II East Region Poll to qualify for its first-ever NCAA II post-season berth.

Mount Olive is currently ranked No. 6 in the region. The next poll will be released Wednesday.

Notes: "March Madness" officially begins one week from tonight with the first round of the CVAC Tournament. First round pairings will be the No.11 seed at the No. 6 seed, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8.

Quarterfinal round pairings, which take place March 3, will have the 8/9 winner playing at the No. 1 seed, 7/10 winner at No. 2, 6/11 winner at No. 3 and the No. 5 seed at the No. 4 seed. The semifinals and championship game take place March 4-5 at Erskine College...The teams currently in the top five in the CVAC standings - Pfeiffer, Queens, Mount Olive, Belmont Abbey and Barton - have all clinched first-round byes in the CVAC Tournament...A Pfeiffer win or a Queens loss gives Pfeiffer the No. 1 seed.

Tonight's CVAC Schedule (Women's games at 5:30 p.m.; men's games at 7:30 p.m.) MOUNT OLIVE at St. Andrews Barton at Queens Pfeiffer at Limestone Anderson at Lees-McRae Erskine at Coker.

Lady Trojans hope to

continue road success

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive head women's basketball coach Wendy Lawrence said last week's win at Queens was the kind of win the team needed in that the Trojans came back from a double-digit deficit and they got a win in a game that went down to the final seconds. In addition, it was a win on the road against a team that had beaten the Trojans at home. Lawrence and the Trojans have an opportunity to even another score tonight.

Mount Olive hopes to move a step closer to hosting a first-round game in next week's conference tournament as the Trojans travel to Laurinburg, N.C., tonight to face St. Andrews in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. and Live Stats of the game are available on the Mount Olive College website. Go to www.moc.edu <http://www.moc.edu/> and click "Athletics."

Mount Olive (10-14 overall, 6-11 CVAC) is coming off a 70-57 loss at home Saturday against Lees-McRae. The Trojans rallied from an early 11-point deficit to take a one-point lead late in the first half, but then went scoreless for the first eight minutes of the second half. Senior and Goldsboro HS graduate Brandy Smith led Mount Olive with 12 points, while Teneal Boone added 10.

Mount Olive, which has won three of its last five games, had held each of its last five opponents under 70 points prior to Saturday. Lees-McRae scored its last 14 points from the free throw line Saturday.

St. Andrews (10-15, 7-11) lost 68-53 at Erskine Saturday in a game that saw the Knights fall behind 29-7, then pull within eight points in the second half. Karen Foggie led St. Andrews with 17 points.

In Mount Olive's first meeting with St. Andrews, Latoria Harvey's jumper with 13 seconds left gave the Trojans a one-point lead, but Quita Currie's driving layup with 5.5 seconds remaining was the game-winner as St. Andrews defeated Mount Olive 67-66 January 27 at College Hall. Harvey finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Trojans.

Mount Olive enters tonight's contest in eighth place in the CVAC standings, one game behind seventh-place St. Andrews, and tonight's game is pivotal for seeding and homecourt advantage in next week's CVAC Tournament. The Trojans will definitely play a first-round game one week from tonight, and need to finish sixth, seventh or eighth in the final regular season standings to be at home for the first round. Mount Olive has a one-game lead over Queens and a two-game lead over Pfeiffer.

Notes: "March Madness" officially begins one week from tonight with the first round of the CVAC Tournament. First round pairings will be the No. 11 seed at the No. 6 seed, No. 10 at No. 7 and No. 9 at No. 8. Quarterfinal round pairings, which take place March 3, will have the 8/9 winner playing at the No. 1 seed, 7/10 winner at No. 2, 6/11 winner at No. 3 and the No. 5 seed at the No. 4 seed. The semifinals and championship game take place March 4-5 at Erskine College√ČBarton can clinch the No. 1 seed with one win in its final two games or one loss this week by Anderson. But if Barton and Anderson finish in a first-place tie, Anderson holds the tie-breaker edge and would earn the No. 1 seed√ČBarton, Anderson and Belmont Abbey have clinched first-round byes and homecourt advantage in the quarterfinal round.