11/23/05 — Trojans rally past Patriots

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Trojans rally past Patriots

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on November 23, 2005 2:01 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Even a team loaded with talent at the guard spots needs a specific leader to step up on a given night.

The second half of Tuesday night's non-conference game against Francis Marion (S.C.) University was Mount Olive senior guard Melvin Creddle's moment to provide that spark.

With his team trailing the Patriots 30-23 at halftime, the New Jersey native stepped up to provide 22 of his season-best 27 points after intermission as the nationally-ranked Trojans claimed a 74-58 win at Kornegay Arena.

The point total was one off of Creddle's career-high of 28.

Early in the second half, Creddle scored an eye-popping 14 straight points for Mount Olive to make it 39-39 with 15 minutes left. Francis Marion, of the Peach Beach Athletic Conference, stayed close through the middle stages of the second half as the game stood tied at 51-51 at the 8:26 mark.

From there, the Trojans continued to step up their defensive intensity and outscored the Patriots 23-8 the rest of the way on their way to improving to 3-0 heading into their first Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference game on Nov. 29 Queens University in Charlotte.

"Our next two games are on the road against tough basketball teams in tough places to play," Clingan said of the matchups with Queens and Limestone (S.C.). "We get a little break, but we start practicing on Friday. We'll have to be mentally tough to bring those wins back."

While Creddle made his fair share of plays on both ends of the floor, he was far from alone. Goldsboro graduate Victor Young finished with 12 points and five steals, and provided an exclamation on the win with an alley-oop dunk on a lob pass by Creddle from the top of the key with 1:40 left.

Elton Coffield added 11 points and three steals, while Maurice Horton swiped six steals and Elijah Rouse grabbed eight rebounds. Mount Olive finished with a season-high 19 total steals on the game.

Mount Olive also recovered from a lack-luster shooting performance from the free throw line in the first half to shoot 21-of-25 from the stripe after intermission. Meanwhile, the Patriots were just 1-of-4 on the game from the line.

"There were a lot of guys out there who really stepped forward," Clingan said. "But, I told them 'you can't play one half and expect to win. So, let's chalk this one up to a lesson.'"

The Patriots fell to 2-2 on the season.

Before the second-half spark, Mount Olive was sluggish out of the gate on the offensive end.

The Trojans were 8-of-26 from the field (30.8 percent) and just 4-of-11 from the line (36.4 percent) as the game was mired in a defensive struggle through most of the first half.

Late in the first, the Patriots got a 3-pointer from George Walker, who finished with 16 points, to give his team a 26-18. On their next possession, Francis Marion's Larnelle Peterson drained a jumper to cap a 9-0 run to make it 28-18.

In a sign of what was to come in the second half, Creddle hit his first 3-pointer and Horton hit a fade away jumper from the left wing at the buzzer to pull the Trojans' within seven at the break at 30-23.

"We weren't really focused to start the game out. We were thinking about Thanksgiving and the weekend, and it was obvious to anyone in the gym," Clingan said. "We can play hard, or don't play at all. At the end of the first half, we showed flashes of it."

Vony Rivers tallied a team-best 18 points for the Patriots with 16 of his points coming after intermission.


George Walker 6 1 1-3 16, Michael Carter 0 0 0-0 0, Raymond Sorsey 3 0-0 6, Michael Jenkins 2 1 0-0 7, Artis Lee 1 0 0-0 2, Larnelle Peterson 1 0 0-0 2, Marchello Hamilton 0 0 0-0 0, Vony Rivers 3 4 0-0 18, Akeene Corley 2 1 0-0 7, Kevin Ashford 0 0 0-1 0. TOTALS -- 18 7 1-4 58.


Elijah Rouse 0 0 0-2 0, Chris Bartley 1 0 1-2 3, Maurice Horton 3 0 2-2 8, Victor Young 2 1 5-6 12, Melvin Creddle 6 3 6-10 27, Paulius Dzuigelis 0 1 2-3 5, Chuckie Jefferson 0 0 0-0 0, Chris Holloway 0 0 2-2 2, Justin Melton 0 1 0-1 3, Elton Coffield 2 1 4-4 11, Antoine Griffin 0 0 3-4 3. TOTALS -- 13 7 25-36 74.

Halftime -- FMU 30-23. Rebounds -- Mount Olive 41 (Rouse 8), FMU 31 (Jenkins 5, Coakley 5). Assists -- Mount Olive 8 (Rouse 2, Creddle 2, Melton 2), FMU 12 (Jenkins 3). Turnovers -- Mount Olive 23, FMU 28. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 2 (Griffin, Jefferson), FMU 2 (Walker, Sorsey). Steals -- Mount Olive 19 (Horton 6), FMU 7 (Lee 2, Coakley 2). Technical fouls -- FMU bench.