12/07/05 — Rouse, Horton lead Mount Olive College

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Rouse, Horton lead Mount Olive College

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 7, 2005 2:06 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Aware of Elton Coffield's presence on the floor, Concord College kept the preseason All-American candidate from posting another career high on Tuesday evening.

But the Mountain Lions forgot about Elijah Rouse and Maurice Horton. Rouse posted a double-double and Horton came within one rebound of notching a double-double as No. 16-ranked Mount Olive College claimed an 85-77 victory at Kornegay Arena.

The Trojans (5-1) remained unbeaten in four home contests. Concord (W. Va.) lost to a nationally-ranked opponent for third time this season and departed 1-5.

"(Coffield) annihilated us at Concord last year," said veteran Mountain Lions coach Steve Cox. "I felt like our defense kept him under check. They only made three three-pointers and they made a ton of them up at our place last year."

At Athens, W. Va., a year ago, Coffield tallied 31 points and Mount Olive shot 71.6 percent from the floor -- the highest single-game FG percentage in Division II play last season. Coffield and Co. buried 11 3-pointers as the Trojans set a school single-game scoring record (119 points).

However, Coffield connected on just 4 of 13 shots, including 1 of 7 from behind the 3-point arc in the rematch. Rouse managed just one first-half point and struggled from the free throw line. Horton had 11 points at halftime and constantly bothered the Mountain Lion defense by tipping balls to teammates after missed shots.

Mount Olive grabbed a season-high 24 offensive rebounds which led to 23 second-chance points. The Trojans outscored the Mountain Lions 46-36 in the paint.

"They hurt us bad on the boards and that is a weakness of ours which they exploited," said Cox, who is the winningest coach (262 victories) in Concord history. "That number double zero (Horton) for them is so lively and active ... goes in and gets his hand on an awful lot of balls.

"(Rouse) hit some free throws and we thought from watching him in the first half he couldn't hit free throws."

Offensive rebounding emerged a point of emphasis after Saturday's road victory at Limestone (S.C.) University. The Trojans pulled down a season-low seven offensive boards in a come-from-behind, six-point win.

Nine players snared at least one offensive board against the Mountain Lions, who yield 39.4 rebounds defensively per game.

"We go out there looking to crash the boards to get a lot of second and third shots that other teams can't get," said Rouse, a junior from Kinston. "The first half we didn't box out like we were supposed to and the second half we wanted to let those guys know we mean business on the boards.

"The first half, I was kind of anxious (on offense). I calmed myself down at halftime and came out ready in the second half."

Sluggish in the opening half, Rouse picked up two offensive rebounds and scored the Trojans' first eight points. Chris Bartley boosted Mount Olive's advantage to 48-34 with a reverse layup off Victor Young's assist.

The Trojans kept their double-digit lead until senior point guard Kent McBride drained back-to-back 3-pointers. After a Rouse free throw -- off another offensive board -- the Mountain Lions pulled within 53-46 on two Zack Gordon free throws.

Coffield's 3-pointer off Rouse's assist and two free throws kept the Trojans ahead 64-54.

"They played a zone against us and within in the structure of our offense we knew we could get inside," said MOC coach Bill Clingan. "We did some things to get behind them and we got penetration where they had to step up and help.

"That's why we were able to control the backside on the offensive glass."

Concord uncorked a 9-2 run.

Junior Tyrone Anderson, who has emerged the team's top scorer in five contests, collected five consecutive points -- all free throws. Joey Preast and Anthony Lansdowne each hit a bucket as the Mountain Lions pulled within 66-63 with a little more than six minutes remaining in regulation.

"Our defense broke down a little bit on the back end, which I wasn't happy with," said Clingan. "Part of that was due to breakdown in communication, but we will take care of that."

The Mountain Lions had several chances to make it a one-possession game, but committed costly turnovers and failed to convert free throws with the clock stopped.

Rouse, Coffield and Melvin Creddle each hit key baskets down the stretch to avoid the upset. Rouse's two-handed dunk off a steal from Young helped seal the outcome in the final minute.

Rouse finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Horton provided 16 points and nine boards. Young contributed 16 points on 8 of 13 shooting and Coffield added 11.

"Elijah had a super game and was just so big in there," said Clingan. "He played with such heart and is really getting better with his shot. He really brings a lot of energy to our team.

"Maurice and Victor really stepped up huge for us."

Mount Olive played deliberate in the opening half to prevent Concord, which averages 85.6 points, to get into an up-tempo game. The Trojans exhausted 25-plus seconds on every possession and claimed a 38-32 lead at halftime.


Derek Calloway 0 0 0-0 0, Tyrone Anderson 5 0 12-14 22, Jason Duncan 0 0 0-0 0, Kent McBride 2 4 1-2 17, Anthony Lansdowne 6 0 2-4 14, Ryan Maynard 0 0 0-0 0, Joey Preast 3 0 0-0 6, Zack Gordon 5 0 4-6 14, Jason Zimmerman 2 0 0-1 4. TOTALS -- 23 4 19-27 77.


Elijah Rouse 5 0 8-13 18, Chris Bartley 1 0 0-0 2, Maurice Horton 5 0 6-10 16, Victor Young 8 0 0-2 16, Melvin Creddle 3 1 0-1 9, Paulius Dziugelis 0 0 0-0 0, Chuckie Jefferson 2 0 0-0 4, Chris Holloway 1 0 0-0 2, Justin Melton 0 1 2-2 5, Elton Coffield 3 1 2-2 11, Justin Egdorf 0 0 2-2 2, Antoine Griffin 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 28 3 20-34 85.

Halftime -- Mount Olive 38-32. 3-point goals -- Concord 4-15 (Anderson 0-3, McBride 4-4, Lansdowne 0-3, Preast 0-1, Gordon 0-3, Zimmerman 0-1), Mount Olive 3-23 (Bartley 0-1, Horton 0-3, Young 0-2, Creddle 1-6, Dziugelis 0-2, Melton 1-2, Coffield 1-7). Rebounds -- Concord 31 (Anderson, Gordon 6), Mount Olive 44 (Rouse 10). Assists -- Concord 10 (McBride 4), Mount Olive 13 (Creddle 5). Turnovers -- Concord 24, Mount Olive 12. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 2. Steals -- Concord 4 (Gordon 3), Mount Olive 11 (Creddle 4).