01/08/06 — No. 9 Mount Olive guns down Anderson (S.C.)

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No. 9 Mount Olive guns down Anderson (S.C.)

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on January 8, 2006 2:16 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive's men's basketball team shot a sizzling, 10-of-15 from behind the 3-point line in the second half in a 90-65 win at Kornegay Arena over visiting Anderson (S.C.) University on Saturday afternoon.

The win improves the nationally ninth-ranked Trojans to 9-2 overall and 3-1 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference play heading into Monday's 7:30 p.m. contest at arch-rival Barton College in Wilson. A team riddled with injuries, Anderson (3-7 overall) exited at 1-3 in the CVAC.

Mount Olive led just 40-33 at halftime as Anderson's patient half-court offense, mixed with cold shooting by the home team kept the game close. In the first half, the Trojans shot 46 percent from the floor on 15-of-32 shooting, but shot just 25 percent from 3-point range on 4-of-16 shooting.

After intermission, Mount Olive came out hot from the start as Maurice Horton, Melvin Creddle, Victor Young and Elton Coffield all made 3-pointers within the first six minutes of the second half as the Trojans pushed ahead 54-44. From there, Mount Olive maintained at least a 10-point lead the rest of the way as its lead was never challenged.

"It was a methodical first half. We came out in the second half and made it a full-court game," Mount Olive coach Joey Higginbotham said. "We got much better looks in the second half ... moved the ball around and played with a lot more intensity.

"There are a few teams in the league that try to slow things down, and I thought our guys did a good job of handling it."

Coffield, Mount Olive's leading scorer and one of four Trojans averaging double figures this year, finished with 21 points to lead all scorers. Creddle added 18 points, while Horton contributed 15 points. The trio combined for 11 makes from beyond the arc in the CVAC contest.

Junior forward Elijah Rouse turned in a solid effort underneath, nearly posting a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Chris Holloway contributed a consistent effort off the bench with eight points and five boards, while junior Chris Bartley also had eight points.

John LeSueur led Anderson with 17 points with four 3-pointers, while J.R. Howell provided 13 points. O'Tey Sellers came off the bench to contribute 12 points for the visitors, who shot just 44 percent from the field on 20-of-45 shooting.

"Our rotation is pretty small due to a lot of injuries. We were only down seven at halftime, and it was manageable," Anderson coach Doug Novak said. "You've got to pick your poison against this team (Mount Olive). They all shoot it well. We had a game plan, and they had a counter to us."

The Trojans improved to 7-0 at home this year and have now won 15-straight at home dating back to last season. Mount Olive will take a 1-2 road record into Monday's contest at Barton.

"The farther you go, the more you need to play a complete game. We've got to play two halves Monday night," Higginbotham said.


John LeSueur 0 4 5-7 17, Kris Fudzinskas 1 0 3-4 5, J.R. Howell 2 2 3-3 13, Alfred Boykin 4 0 1-4 9, Nathan Russell 0 1 4-6 7, O'Tey Sellers 5 0 2-2 12, Tariq Naqqash 1 0 0-0 2. TOTALS -- 13 7 18-26 65.

MOUNT OLIVE (9-2, 3-1)

Elijah Rouse 4 0 1-3 9, Chris Bartley 1 2 0-0 8, Maurice Horton 1 4 1-2 15, Victor Young 1 1 0-0 5, Chuckie Jefferson 2 0 0-0 4, Chris Holloway 3 0 2-2 8, Elton Coffield 4 4 1-2 21, Melvin Creddle 4 3 1-2 18. TOTALS -- 21 14 6-11 90.

Halftime -- Mount Olive 40, Anderson 33. 3-point goals -- Anderson 7-24 (LeSueur 4-8, Fudzinskas 0-2, Howell 2-5, Boykin 0-1, Russell 1-2, Sellers 0-2, Naqqash 0-4.) Mount Olive 14-31 (Bartley 2-3, Horton 4-6, Young 1-4, Jones 0-2, Dziugelis 0-1, Coffield 4-10, Creddle 3-5). Rebounds -- Anderson 23 (Fudzinskas, Boykin 5), Mount Olive 43 (Rouse 10). Assists -- Anderson 13 (Russell 4), Mount Olive 17 (Horton 4, Young 4). Blocked shots -- Anderson 1 (LeSueur), Mount Olive 1 (Jefferson). Steals -- Anderson 6 (LeSueur 2), Mount Olive 14 (Rouse 4, Horton 4). Turnovers -- Anderson 19, Mount Olive 14.