02/18/05 — No. 24 Mount Olive keeps pace in CVAC race

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No. 24 Mount Olive keeps pace in CVAC race

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on February 18, 2005 1:59 PM

GAFFNEY, S.C. - The first half of Mount Olive's men's basketball game at Limestone looked like it might be a repeat of last year's trip to Gaffney for the Trojans, as well as a repeat of Monday night for Limestone. But the final 20 minutes turned out to be a repeat of numerous second-half performances for the Trojans.

Elton Coffield scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half, including back-to-back 3-pointers to put nationally 24th-ranked Mount Olive ahead to stay as the Trojans rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat Limestone 70-62 Thursday night.

The win, Mount Olive's fourth in a row and 12th in its last 13 games, keeps the Trojans in a tie with Pfeiffer for first place in the CVAC standings.

Mount Olive (21-3 overall, 15-2 CVAC) took an early four-point lead after a three-pointer and a dunk by Victor Young. But Limestone (12-12, 8-9) scored nine unanswered points to break a 9-all tie.

The Saints built the lead to 11 before Coffield sparked a 7-0 run with a field goal and a three-pointer to pull the Trojans within 28-24 with 2:38 remaining. But Limestone closed the half with an 8-2 run, including four points in the final 11 seconds to give the Saints a 36-26 halftime lead.

When the Trojans traveled to Gaffney last year, Limestone hit 14-of-20 3-pointers to defeat Mount Olive 98-86. This past Monday, Limestone stunned No. 10 Pfeiffer 108-105, and the Saints were 20 minutes away from their second win in as many games against nationally ranked teams.

Coffield scored 10 points in the first four minutes of the second half and the Trojans opened the half with a 15-2 run to take the lead for good. Mount Olive built the lead to 60-49 on Coffield's three-pointer with 5:39 left in the game.

After Limestone cut the lead to nine, Young, Melvin Creddle and Sharome Holloway combined to hit 6-of-6 free throws to give the Trojans its biggest lead at 70-55 with 59 seconds remaining.

Young, who was 6-for-10 from the field, tallied 17 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists for the Trojans. Creddle added 10 points and four steals as the Trojans forced 23 Limestone turnovers.

Coffield finished 8-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range.

Marquintus Jones led Limestone with 15 points.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to Anderson in a CVAC matchup. Tip-off is 7 p.m.

Notes: Sharome Holloway scored a career-high 30 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the Trojans' first meeting at Anderson, an 81-72 victory for Mount Olive. ... Junior guard Maurice Horton, who hasn't played since scoring 20 points against Pfeiffer due to a shoulder injury, may be cleared to play Saturday.