01/06/05 — MOC-Barton renew rivalry

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MOC-Barton renew rivalry

Published in Sports on January 6, 2005 1:55 PM

The Mount Olive men's basketball team shouldn't have any trouble getting motivated for tonight's game at Barton. After all, it is a conference game against the Trojans' arch-rival. For added motivation, Mount Olive enters the contest looking up at Barton in the season's first regional rankings, which were announced yesterday.

Mount Olive, ranked No. 10 in this week's NCAA Division II East Region Poll, resumes Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play tonight as the Trojans travel up the road to Wilson to take on regionally fifth-ranked Barton. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.

Mount Olive (7-1 overall, 1-0 CVAC) enters tonight's contest on a five-game winning streak, dating back to November 26. Six of the Trojans' seven wins have been by double figures, including five wins by more than 20 points. Mount Olive is coming off an 89-63 win Monday at Francis Marion, a team that reached last year's NCAA II Sweet 16.

Elton Coffield, who has been Mount Olive's top scorer in six of the Trojans? seven wins, leads four players in double figures with an 18.6 scoring average. The 6-4 sophomore ranks in the top 20 in the nation with a 49.0 percent three-point shooting percentage. Melvin Creddle, a junior college transfer who has taken over at the point guard position, has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and is averaging 12.6 points per contest to go with 3.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

Maurice Horton, who ranks among the nation's leaders with 2.7 steals per game, is averaging 12.0 points per game, while Victor Young of Goldsboro has a 10.4 scoring average. The Trojans have the second-highest field goal percentage in the nation at 54.1 percent as 11 of the 12 players are shooting 50.0 percent or better so far this season.

Barton (5-3, 1-0) is playing for the first time since a 62-58 win over Virginia State on December 15. Casey Moore leads the Bulldogs with 17.4 points per game, while Jacoby Key has a 14.3 scoring average.

Mount Olive and Barton split their two contests last year with each team winning on the other team's homecourt. The Trojans win at Barton last year was their first on the Bulldogs' home floor in five years, as center Sharome Holloway took over in the second half, notching all of his 14 points and 10 rebounds after intermission.

Along with the conference standings and regional pride, tonight?s game will have implications in the East Region, even with the NCAA II Tournament more than two months away. The top five at-large teams in the region will join the three conference champions in the East Regional in March.

MOC women looking for

complete effort

Two games ago, the Mount Olive College women's basketball team shot the ball well, but was plagued with turnovers. In their last game, the Trojans did their best job of the season of protecting the ball, but struggled with their shot. Tonight, the Trojans hope they can find their shot again and limit their turnovers.

Mount Olive returns to action tonight as the Trojans travel to Wilson to take on Barton in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference women's basketball. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m.

Mount Olive (3-4 overall, 1-0 CVAC) is coming off a 59-41 loss Monday at UNC Pembroke. The Trojans led 15-10 midway through the first half, then went more than nine minutes without a point. Mount Olive shot 17-for-64 (26.6 percent) from the floor, despite a 9-for-18, 19-point performance by junior forward Teneal Boone.

The Trojans committed a season-low 11 turnovers against UNC Pembroke, just one game after committing a season-high 35 turnovers against St. Augustine's.

Mount Olive has held five of its first seven opponents under 60 points and has not allowed more than 61 points in a game. The Trojans are allowing an average of 52.7 points per contest for the eighth-best scoring defense in the nation. However, Mount Olive hopes to improve on its own scoring average of 53.4 points per game. Senior guard Ladora Charles leads the Trojans with a 10.7 scoring average.

Barton (1-5, 0-1) is coming off a 65-62 loss at home Monday against West Virginia State. Keauna Vinson, last year's CVAC Player of the Year, is making a case for a repeat award with 18.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game.

Barton won all three meetings against Mount Olive last season, but the Trojans took the top-seeded Bulldogs down to the wire in the quarterfinal round of the CVAC Tournament before falling 79-75 at Barton. Mount Olive's last win against Barton took place January 20, 2003.