01/09/05 — Mount Olive men crowns visiting Queens

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Mount Olive men crowns visiting Queens

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 9, 2005 2:03 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A pleasant surprise. A great defensive effort.

No one would argue with veteran men's basketball coach Bill Clingan's assessment of Mount Olive College's 104-62 dismantling of Queens University of Charlotte on Saturday evening at College Hall. Six players recorded double-figure scoring efforts for the Trojans, who remained unbeaten in four outings at College Hall and nearly perfect -- 9-1 overall.

Mount Olive shot a blistering 63.5 percent (40 of 63) from the floor and eclipsed the century mark for the fifth time this season in the NCAA Division II Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference battle.

Sophomore Elton Coffield emerged the Trojans' top scorer for the seventh time this season, collecting game highs of 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the floor and seven rebounds. Melvin Creddle provided 17 points and a game-high six assists, while Sharome Holloway pumped in 14. Elijah Rouse contributed 11 points, followed by Maurice Horton and Moise Tchankeu with 10 points apiece. Tchankeu, a sophomore from Cameroon, established his career high in 15 minutes of action.

Queens (5-5, 2-1 CVAC) entered the contest on a roll with five wins in its last six games.

"They were picked second or third in the league and they've got some outstanding personnel," Clingan said of the Royals. "It was a tremendous effort on defense tonight for us to win by that margin."

The Trojans came within a basket of tying their season high for margin of victory (44 points), set in the season opener against Bluefield State (W. Va.) College. It's also the fifth time they've beaten an opponent by 30 or more points and the third occasion in which they've scored at least 100 points at College Hall.

Clingan reminded his team of its three game goals before tip-off. He didn't want to give up any cheap shots, make the Royals earn everything they get and run the Trojan offense to perfection. A three-minute stretch in the opening half defined Clingan's game plan.

Leading 8-6, Victor Young started a 9-2 run with a 3-pointer left of the free throw line. Young added a layup off Creddle's assist and Rouse hit one free throw to make it 14-8. Chris Bartley capped the quick run with a 3-pointer off another Creddle assist for a 17-8 advantage with 13:33 to go.

Queens pulled within 17-12, but could get no closer. The Trojans disrupted the Royals' offense with a harrassing man-to-man defense and held streaky shooter B.J. Timmons to one field goal -- a 3-pointer.

"In our man-to-man we had a lot of ball pressure, outstanding defense and outstanding boxing out underneath the basket," Clingan said. "We just played a great defensive game."

Eight of 11 Trojans played in the first half and seven scored at least one basket. Mount Olive converted 16 Queens turnovers into 20 points and averaged 1.02 points on 47 possessions.

The Royals, who are 1-4 on the road this season, tried to play more physical in the second half. They matched the Trojans scoring-wise for 10 minutes, but lost momentum when point guard William Kane fouled out. Without a consistent ball-handler and Simmons as their only perimeter threat, Queens couldn't generate any significant offensive runs.

"When you're down at halftime, you've got to make a charge (offensively)," Clingan said. "We knew it would be a little more physical the second half and told them to keep their focus, keep playing our game plan. It will eventually end up nullifying what they're trying to do, and it did."

Mount Olive built as much as a 42-point lead and amassed 35 points overall off 29 Queens turnovers. The Trojans' bench outscored the Royals 47-26 and Clingan's team owned a decisive 56-20 advantage in the paint.

Ranked No. 10 in the latest East Region poll, the Trojans entertain defending CVAC champion Pfeiffer University at 7:30 p.m. Monday. The teams played a classic 108-105, overtime thriller last season which ended on Marcus West's 75-footer at the buzzer.