Pfeiffer outslugs MOC in CVAC championship
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 7, 2004 2:01 AM
MOC Sports Information
DUE WEST, S.C. -- Mount Olive wasn't able to come up with the win Saturday that would have given the Trojans an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Rico Grier led six players in double figures with 20 points as top-seeded Pfeiffer defeated second-seeded Mount Olive 106-95 Saturday in the championship game of the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball tournament at Belk Arena on the Erskine College campus.
Pfeiffer clinched the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament, which will likely be hosted by the Falcons. The loss denies Mount Olive its first-ever CVAC men's basketball title and keeps the Trojans on the proverbial tournament "bubble."
But there's a good chance the Trojans' season isn't quite over.
Mount Olive, which entered the CVAC Tournament ranked No. 8 in the East Region, defeated regionally seventh-ranked Queens 71-65 Friday in the semifinal round. The win gave Mount Olive two wins in three meetings over Queens and may have been enough to keep the Trojans in the running for an at-large bid.
"They really should look at the CVAC and see that are three or four good ball clubs in this region," Mount Olive head coach Bill Clingan said. "With all the upsets in the PSAC, we should definitely be moved up and I'll be surprised if we weren't.
"I am just proud and very encouraged by our play. I think we can play against anybody in the region and I'll stand up against that. We'll see what happens Sunday."
The regional pairings will be announced tonight at 10:30 p.m.
Mount Olive (23-7) trailed by as many as nine points in the first half as Pfeiffer (27-2) jumped out to a 17-8 lead barely four minutes into the game.
Victor Young's 3-pointer triggered a 9-2 run to pull the Trojans within two and the margin was never more than four points the rest of the half. Mount Olive closed the gap to 36-34 with 5 minutes, 15 seconds left in the half when Sean Barnett brought the Trojan faithful to their feet with a two-handed slam dunk off an assist from Johnny Galarza.
Pfeiffer remained in the lead until Elijah Rouse's layup with 3:51 remaining tied the game at 38-38, the first tie since it was 2-2. Johnny Galarza's 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining capped an 8-0 Mount Olive run and gave the Trojans their first lead of the game at 41-38.
Rico Grier's 3-pointer with 56 seconds left tied the game and ended a streak of eight consecutive missed field goal attempts. The Falcons led 43-41 until Brad McDougald hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds left to give Mount Olive a 44-43 lead at halftime.
Mount Olive still held a one-point lead when Galarza's 3-pointer from the left corner ignited an 11-2 run and gave the Trojans their biggest lead at 63-53 with 13:31 left in the game. Rico Grier ended the run with a 3-pointer but Horton hit a three from the top of the key to put the Trojans back up by 10.
Pfeiffer cut the lead down to three after back-to-back three-point plays by Damien Argrett and Mount Olive turned the ball over four times in five possessions. Galarza hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 69-63, but DeMario Grier's conventional three-point play sparked an 11-0 run and put Pfeiffer ahead 74-69 with 8:40 left in the game.
"I thought when we had that 10-point lead in the second half, our guys started to get tentative and started playing not to lose," Clingan said. "They started second-guessing themselves."
Pfeiffer built the lead to seven, but Galarza hit his fifth trey of the game and Chris Bartley scored on a layup to pull the Trojans within 82-80 with 5:34 remaining. After a pair of Rico Grier free throws put Pfeiffer up by four, Bartley hit one of two free throws and Victor Young hit a short jumper to cut the lead to 84-83 with 4:30 left in the contest.
After Anthony Williams hit a 3-pointer for Pfeiffer, Barnett's putback pulled the Trojans within 87-85. But Williams hit a 3-pointer to ignite a 9-0 run to give Pfeiffer an 11-point lead with 1:33 remaining and the Trojans never got any closer than nine points the rest of the way.
"Our legs are a little weary," said Clingan, whose team got to bed at 1:30 a.m. Saturday after an emotional win against Queens.
Clingan also cited a huge discrepancy in free-throw shooting.
Pfeiffer connected on 36-of-43 attempts compared to 10-of-16 for the Trojans.
"There was a great disparity on the number of free throws in a very closely-contested game like this to have that kind of one-sided foul situation" Clingan said. "That's all I have to say about that."
The Falcons also outscored the Trojans on turnover points (16-8), second-chance points (27-14) and points off the bench (45-29).
Horton led all scorers with 21 points and also recorded four assists and four steals. Galarza finished with 16 points, while Barnett and Bartley added 12 points apiece.
Horton and Marcus West were named to the All-tournament team for Mount Olive. West, who scored 31 points Friday against Queens, fouled out with eight points against Pfeiffer.
Argrett and Williams had 18 points apiece, while DeMario Grier added 17 points. Williams was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Rico Grier and Tim Granold were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
In the women's championship, tournament Most Valuable Player Lashonda Chiles scored 28 points to lead No. 2 seed Anderson to a 78-63 victory over No. 4 seed Coker to claim its first-ever CVAC women's basketball championship. With win, Anderson earns an automatic bid to the NCAA II East Regional.
2004 NCAA Division II
Conference Men's Tournament
(at Erskine College, S.C.)
MOUNT OLIVE (95)
Maurice Horton 6 2 3-5 21, Johnny Galarza 0 5 1-2 16, Victor Young 3 1 0-0 9, Brad McDougald 0 2 0-0 6, Elton Coffield 2 1 2-2 9, Sean Barnett 6 0 0-0 12, Elijah Rouse 1 0 0-0 2, Chris Bartley 4 0 4-7 12, Plinio Broering 0 0 0-0 0, Marcus West 4 0 0-0 8.
PFEIFFER UNIVERSITY (106)
Jay Rhoades 0 0 0-0 0, Ricky Buffaloe 0 0 0-0 0, Anthony Williams 1 2 10-13 18, DeMario Grier 2 1 10-11 17, Kenny Mickens 4 0 3-5 11, Caleb Williams 0 0 0-0 0, Lamont McKnight 0 1 3-4 6, Rico Grier 2 4 4-4 20, Chad Casstevens 0 0 0-0 0, Joe Easley 0 0 0-0 0, Tim Granold 0 3 2-2 11, Damien Argrett 7 0 4-4 18, Lamont Keaton 1 1 0-0 5.
Halftime -- Mount Olive 44, Pfeiffer 43. Three-point baskets -- Mount Olive 11-29 (Horton 2-4, Galarza 5-11, Young 1-4, McDougald 2-5, Coffield 1-4, West 0-1); Pfeiffer 12-38 (Williams 2-5, D. Grier 1-4, McKnight 1-2, R. Grier 4-9, Easley 0-4, Granold 3-9, Keaton 1-2). Rebounds -- Mount Olive 39 (Barnett 10), Pfeiffer 48 (Argrett 10). Assists -- Mount Olive 15 (Horton, Galarza 4), Pfeiffer 14 (R. Grier 5). Turnovers -- Mount Olive 12, Pfeiffer 11. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 2 (Rouse, West). Steals -- Mount Olive 7 (Horton 4), Pfeiffer 3. Fouled out -- Horton.
Mount Olive 71, Queens 65
Marcus West scored a season-high 31 points against Queens University of Charlotte, which set up the championship final against nationally-ranked Pfeiffer University.
The Trojans established a new single-season record for wins (23), eclipsing the old mark of 22 set by the 1998-99 team.
Mount Olive took an early five-point lead before Queens scored eight unanswered points to go on top 15-12 with 7:39 left in the first half. There were eight ties and seven lead changes in the first half before the Trojans used a 6-0 run to take a 30-26 lead at halftime.
West had 15 points at the break, while Victor Young had nine for the Trojans.
Queens (21-8) opened the second half with a 12-4 run to take a four-point lead, but the Trojans answered with a 16-2 run as West's layup after a Maurice Horton steal gave Mount Olive a 50-40 lead with 10 minutes, 24 seconds left.
The Royals answered with another run and Spencer Ross' 3-pointer, boosted Queens back in front 57-56 at the 5:57 mark.
There were three more lead changes and three more ties before Sean Barnett's 18-footer with 2:51 left in the game broke a 63-63 tie and put the Trojans ahead to stay. Young hit a pair of free throws with 8.8 seconds left to make it a four-point game and West sealed the win with a steal at midcourt on the inbounds pass.
West shot 12-for-20 from the field and pulled down nine rebounds. Young finished with nine points, while Horton tallied 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Ross scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Queens, while Moustapha Diouf scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half.
The victory might also help increase Mount Olive's chances of making its first-ever appearance in the NCAA II East Regional. The Trojans entered the conference tournament ranked No. 8 in the final poll, one spot behind seventh-ranked Queens.
2004 NCAA Division II
Conference Men's Tournament
(at Erskine College, S.C.)
MOUNT OLIVE (71)
Maurice Horton 2 2 2-3 12, Johnny Galarza 1 0 0-0 2, Victor Young 4 1 2-2 13, Brad McDougald 1 0 0-0 2, Elton Coffield 1 0 1-2 3, Sean Barnett 1 0 0-0 2, Elijah Rouse 0 0 0-0 0, Chris Bartley 2 0 2-2 6, West 12 0 7-11 31.
B.J. Timmons 1 3 2-2 13, Hector Valenzuela 4 0 1-2 9, Guillermo Rausch 1 0 0-0 2, Spencer Ross 3 3 0-1 15, Richard Barrett 0 0 0-0 0, Juwaun Seegars 1 0 0-0 2, Landry Turner 0 0 0-0 0, Moustapha Diouf 7 0 1-1 15, Zach English 4 0 0-0 8, Kendrick Harris 0 0 1-2 1.
Halftime -- Mount Olive 30, Queens 26. Three-point baskets -- Mount Olive 3-16 (Horton 2-4, Galarza 0-2, Young 1-2, McDougald 0-3, Barnett 0-1, Bartley 0-2, West 0-2); Queens 6-21 (Timmons 3-10, Valenzuela 0-2, Ross 3-7, Seegars 0-2). Rebounds -- Mount Olive 43 (Horton 8), Queens 44 (Valenzuela 11). Assists -- Mount Olive 9 (Galarza 3), Queens (Ross 4). Turnovers -- Mount Olive 18, Queens 23. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 3 (West 2), Queens 3 (Diouf 2). Steals -- Mount Olive 13 (Horton 5), Queens 4 (Valenzuela 2).
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