01/27/06 — Coffield, Creddle pace Mount Olive to key road win at Pfeiffer

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Coffield, Creddle pace Mount Olive to key road win at Pfeiffer

Published in Sports on January 27, 2006 2:25 PM

MOC Sports Information

Mount Olive and Elton Coffield continued their "March Madness" magic in Misenheimer.

Coffield scored a career-high 33 points and Melvin Creddle dished out a school-record 13 assists as nationally 18th-ranked Mount Olive defeated Pfeiffer 87-74 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball Thursday at Misenheimer. The win extended the Trojans' current winning streak to five and snapped a four-game head-to-head losing skid against Pfeiffer.

Mount Olive (14-3 overall, 8-2 CVAC) hit each of its first five three-point attempts and scored 19 unanswered points on its way to a 22-2 lead with 14:26 left in the first half. Chris Bartley and Maurice Horton each hit a three and Coffield connected on his first three attempts from beyond the arc.

Pfeiffer (10-7, 5-5) came back with a 7-0 run, sparked by Ricky Buffaloe, who scored the Falcons' first seven points of the game. But the Trojans answered with a 9-0 run, capped by Elijah Rouse's putback of his own missed shot to give Mount Olive its biggest lead at 31-9 with 8:55 remaining in the half.

Rouse scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half as Mount Olive reached the 30-point mark before allowing its opponent to reach double figures for the second time in four games.

The Trojan coaching staff made sure the players knew that even with a 22-point lead, there was still a lot of basketball to be played.

"We told the players this game is far from over," said assistant coach Russell Royal. "We know Pfeiffer can score a lot of points in a hurry and no lead is safe against them."

After Pfeiffer pulled within 38-23, Justin Melton hit a layup off a steal and Coffield converted a three-point play to put the Trojans' lead back to 20 with 4:23 remaining before halftime. Pfeiffer then went on a 10-0 run to cut Mount Olive's lead to 10 with 2:33 left, but the Falcons did not score the rest of the half and Coffield's baseline drive with 44 seconds left gave the Trojans a 45-33 halftime lead.

Coffield had 21 points in the first half, going 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point range. Creddle had eight assists by halftime.

Mount Olive built the lead to 15 points after Rouse's putback on a missed free throw attempt, but DeMario Grier's three-pointer with 13:09 remaining capped a 10-2 run and pulled Pfeiffer within 52-45. That would be as close as Pfeiffer would come as Horton converted a three-point play on Mount Olive's next possession to build the lead back to double figures.

The Trojans extended the lead to as many as 16 points after three-pointers by Horton and Victor Young, both off assists by Creddle. Mount Olive then went three minutes without a field goal as Pfeiffer cut the Trojans' lead to 76-66 with 3:34 left in the game.

Coffield's basket ended the Trojans' scoring drought and Horton hit a pair of free throws with 2:50 remaining to give Mount Olive an 80-67 lead. Pfeiffer cut the lead to 10 and had a chance to pull within single digits, but the Falcons missed a three-pointer and Coffield found Horton all alone for a dunk.

Pfeiffer did bring the lead down to single digits after Matt Austin's three-point play pull the Falcons within 83-74 with 52 seconds remaining. But Horton hit a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left and Pfeiffer missed its final two field goal attempts.

Horton scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half, hitting 5-of-7 free throws. Rouse pulled down seven rebounds and recorded five steals. Coffield, who pulled down a game-high seven rebounds, finished 11-for-16 from the field, 5-for-7 from three-point range and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.

Grier scored all of his 18 points in the second half, while Tavares scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half.

Mount Olive shot 54.4 percent from the field, including 52.9 percent (9-for-17) from three-point range. Defensively, the Trojans held Pfeiffer 22 points below its scoring average. Both Mount Olive and Pfeiffer entered the game ranked among the top 10 in the nation in scoring offense.

Misenheimer was the site of the East Regional of last year's NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Championship. The Trojans posted three straight wins to earn its first-ever regional title and trip to the Elite Eight. Coffield, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the regional, scored 29 points in the title game against Salem International, giving him 62 points in his last two games on Pfeiffer's home floor.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to Limestone in a CVAC matchup for the 23rd Annual Mount Olive Basketball Church Night. Mount Olive rallied from a 15-point deficit to defeat Limestone 65-59 in the first meeting in December. Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.