01/03/05 — MOC briefs

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Published in Sports on January 3, 2005 1:55 PM

After a layoff of more than two weeks, the Mount Olive men's basketball team plays four games in a span of eight days, starting tonight against a team that reached last year's NCAA II "Sweet 16."

Mount Olive returns to action tonight as the Trojans travel to Florence, S.C., to face Francis Marion in non-conference men's basketball. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Mount Olive (6-1) is playing for the first time since Dec. 15 when the Trojans outscored UNC Pembroke 115-83.

Goldsboro High graduate Victor Young scored a career-high 30 points after shaking off the effects of a wrist injury that hampered him in his previous four games. The Trojans placed seven players in double-figures as they reached the century mark for the fourth time this season. Mount Olive is averaging 98.0 points per game.

Sophomore Elton Coffield continues to lead the Trojans in scoring with 18.6 points per game and is one of five Trojans averaging in double figures. Junior college transfer Melvin Creddle is averaging 12.6 points per contest, while junior Maurice Horton has an 11.7 scoring average.

Young's 30-point performance vaulted the junior guard into double digits with a 10.4 scoring average. Senior Sharome Holloway is averaging 10.0 points per game and is the team's leading rebounder with 8.0 boards per game.

Mount Olive is shooting 55.3 percent from the field as a team. Eleven of the 12 Trojans are shooting 50 percent or better.

Francis Marion (5-4) split a pair of games last week at the 30th Annual Winter Park Rotary Tangerine Tournament at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. The Patriots fell to No. 13 Bentley (Mass.) 85-51 in the first round, then defeated Coker 59-41 in the consolation game. Francis Marion and Coker are only 30 minutes apart, but ended up playing each other 500 miles from home.

Tonight's game is a match-up of participants in last year's NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship. Mount Olive made its first-ever post-season appearance last year, earning the No. 7 seed in the East Region. Francis Marion, which was ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation last year, fell to eventual national champion Kennesaw State in the South Region semifinals.

Mount Olive is 1-0 this season and 4-0 over the last two seasons against teams from the Peach Belt Athletic Conference. Francis Marion, which is playing its first home game of the season tonight, is 0-2 this season against Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference opponents.

Trojan women visit UNCP

The Mount Olive women's basketball team plays its final game before resuming conference play as the Trojans travel to Pembroke tonight to face UNC Pembroke in non-conference action. Tip-off is 6 p.m.

Mount Olive (3-3) is coming off a 50-48 loss at St. Augustine's Thursday, a game that saw the Trojans stay in contention despite a season-high 35 turnovers. Senior Shenetta Moye led the Trojans with 12 points for her second double-figure performance of the season. Her 17-footer as the shot clock expired pulled Mount Olive within a basket with two minutes remaining, but the Trojans couldn't get any closer.

Despite the loss, Mount Olive outrebounded its opponent for the sixth time in as many games this season. Mount Olive is outrebounding opponents by an average of 12.3 boards per contest and is expected to be ranked among the national leaders in rebounding margin when the first NCAA II statistics report is released this week. Senior Latoria Harvey is averaging 9.3 rebounds per game, followed by junior Teneal Boone with 7.8 and sophomore Melanie Cobb with 6.8 boards per game.

UNC Pembroke (7-3) had its six-game winning streak snapped Thursday with a 68-50 loss at Catawba. UNCP is led by Lindsey Bartholf, who is averaging 19.0 points per game and shooting 50.8 percent (32-for-63) from three-point range.

Last year, Mount Olive fell to UNC Pembroke 69-63 at College Hall in a game that saw 14 lead changes and four ties, with no lead bigger than six points. Ladora Charles led the Trojans with 17 points, while Harvey recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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