02/13/05 — MOC men tops Lees-McRae

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MOC men tops Lees-McRae

Published in Sports on February 13, 2005 2:01 AM

MOC Sports Information

BANNER ELK -- Mount Olive's men's basketball game at Lees-McRae Saturday was almost a carbon copy of last Saturday's game at Erskine.

Just add 10 points to each team's final total.

Melvin Creddle scored a career-high 28 points and Elton Coffield hit back-to-back three-pointers late in the game as regionally second-ranked Mount Olive rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit to defeat Lees-McRae 93-83 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball Saturday at Banner Elk.

The Trojans, which entered this week with the second-highest team field goal percentage in the nation, shot 62.0 percent (31-for-50) from the field Saturday.

Mount Olive (19-3 overall, 13-2 CVAC) trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before Creddle converted steals on consecutive possessions into fast break baskets to spark an 8-0 run and tie the game 15-15 with 11:43 remaining. Creddle finished with three steals on the day.

There were three ties and six lead changes in the first half before Treek Ramseur's three-pointer with 5:56 left broke a 30-30 tie and put Lees-McRae (6-16, 3-12) ahead for the remainder of the half. The Bobcats led by as many as nine points before Elijah Rouse hit a pair of free throws with one second remaining to bring the Trojans within 45-38 at halftime.

In the second half, Mount Olive cut the lead to five as Sharome Holloway's basket pulled the Trojans within 55-50 with 15:23 left in the contest. But Lees-McRae scored the next six points and after a Mount Olive free throw, Aaron Dugger's bucket with 12:29 remaining gave the Bobcats their biggest lead at 63-51.

One week ago at Erskine, Mount Olive trailed by as many as 11 points in the second half before mounting a 25-4 run in the final eight minutes to win 83-73. This time around, it would take 12 minutes and the Trojans would outscore Lees-McRae 42-20.

Lees-McRae still held a 10-point lead with 9:06 remaining when dunks by Holloway and Rouse highlighted a 7-0 run to pull the Trojans within 69-66 with 7:23 remaining. The Bobcats held a five-point lead just under the five-minute mark when Coffield hit back-to-back three-pointers to put the Trojans on top 77-76 with 3:39 left in the game.

That would be the seventh - and final - lead change of the game.

Field goals by Creddle, Holloway and Rouse would give the Trojans some breathing room and Coffield's three-pointer with 1:27 remaining capped a 15-1 run and gave the Trojans an 86-77 lead. Creddle hit 6-of-6 free throws to seal the win, Mount Olive's 10th in its last 11 games.

Coffield scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half, going 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc. Rouse hit 7-of-9 free throws and scored 17 points, while Holloway added 16 points.

Creddle was 8-for-12 from the field and 10-for-14 from the free throw line. He also dished out a game-high seven assists.

Ramseur led Lees-McRae with 21 points, while Dugger added 19 points and Antwon Brown finished with 17. Lees-McRae shot 55.8 percent (29-for-52) from the field.

Mount Olive converted 23 Lees-McRae turnovers into 31 points.

The Trojans played for the second game in a row without starting guard Maurice Horton, who injured his shoulder last week in practice. He is questionable for Monday's game at Belmont Abbey.

Mount Olive is currently ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball East Region Poll. The Trojans have won two in a row after falling at top-ranked Pfeiffer Monday.

The Trojans are back in action Monday as Mount Olive travels to Belmont to face Belmont Abbey in a CVAC match-up. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. An audio webcast of the game will be available on the Mount Olive College athletics web page at www.moc.edu/athletics.