02/04/05 — Fifth-ranked Trojans too much for Barton - again

View Archive

Fifth-ranked Trojans too much for Barton - again

By Neil Fuller
Published in Sports on February 4, 2005 1:59 PM

MOUNT OLIVE - Charity begins at home.

The gate from Thursday night's Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference matchup at College Hall went to aid victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami. But the Barton College men's basketball team was also in a giving mood.

The Bulldogs committed 22 turnovers -- giving up 26 points in the process -- in falling 80-68 to Mount Olive.

The Trojans improved to 10-1 in CVAC play -- keeping pace with Pfeiffer atop the conference standings -- with their seventh straight win.

"Our goal coming in was 13 or fewer turnovers," Barton coach Ron Leivense said. "You know you're going to have turnovers, but you can't beat a team like Mount Olive if you commit a lot of turnovers."

Or if Elton Coffield finds his range from behind the 3-point arc.

Coffield hit four second-half 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 24 points.

After going 1-of-8 from 3-point range during the first 20 minutes, the Trojans connected on three straight from behind the arc as part of a 22-8 run to open the second half.

The two sides headed into the break tied at 37 after exchanging the lead six times.

"Games aren't won in the first half," Coffield said. "We came out knowing we had that second half to get the job done."

Coffield connected on back-to-back 3-pointers with just over two minutes remaining to give Mount Olive (16-2 overall) a 75-65 lead.

Sharome Holloway scored 18 points, and Elijah Rouse added 10 as the Trojans, ranked No. 5 in the latest NCAA Division II East Region poll, overcame seven 3-point field goals by Barton junior guard Casey Moore.

Moore finished with 23 points on 8-of-20 shooting and five rebounds.

"The key to the game was the fact that we were able to run our offense," Mount Olive coach Bill Clingan said. "We got the ball to our scorers where they are best able to shoot.

"I thought Sharome did an excellent job inside. They couldn't handle him down low, and that opened up things for us."

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs (11-7 overall, 7-4 CVAC) shot a mere 39.3 percent (11-of-28) from the field during the second half.

The combination of turnovers and cold second-half shooting proved too much for Barton, which was looking for a split in the season series. The Trojans defeated the Bulldogs 70-66 in Wilson on Jan. 6.

"I think Mount Olive is tremendous," Leivense said. "I think they're very athletic. They shoot the ball well and create a number of problems for any team they play. They're just a tremendous team."

The Trojans will now have to become a tremendous road team if they hope to wrap up the CVAC regular-season title. Mount Olive plays four of its next five games -- all against conference foes -- away from home. The treacherous stretch includes a visit to Pfeiffer, ranked No. 2 in all of Division II, next Monday.

Mount Olive is 8-1 at College Hall this season.

"It's an odd schedule we've got," Clingan said. "We could've used a few more these home games later in the season."

Notes: Pfeiffer defeated St. Andrews 96-84 on Thursday night. ... Clingan, now in his 15th season at Mount Olive, coached with a 101-degree temperature. ... Barton G Ervin Gregory scored 17 points. ... Barton outrebounded Mount Olive 32-27. ... Holloway and Rouse had four assists each. ... Barton G Alejo Barovero had a game-high six assists. ... Princeton High School standout Karter Yutzy was among the 704 in attendance. Yutzy is being recruited by both programs.