01/31/06 — Mount Olive suffer road loss to Knights

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Mount Olive suffer road loss to Knights

Published in Sports on January 31, 2006 2:16 PM

LAURINBURG -- Elijah Rouse's putback with 43 seconds left gave Mount Olive the lead, but St. Andrews tied the game with 43 seconds remaining and Jeff Worley's three-point play with 0.8 seconds left lifted the Knights to a 72-69 win over the nationally 18th-ranked Trojans Monday. The loss snaps the Trojans' six-game winning streak.

Monday's game was in sharp contrast to the first meeting between the two teams, in which Mount Olive vaulted to a 22-point lead in the first half and won 82-58 in December at Kornegay Arena.

Mount Olive (15-4 overall, 9-3 CVAC) trailed by as many as seven points in the first half, but Rouse and Melvin Creddle combined for eight unanswered points and Montel Jones scored the next five points as his 3-pointer capped a 13-2 run to give the Trojans a 26-22 lead with 8:52 left before halftime.

St. Andrews (9-8, 7-5) rallied to tie the game and eventually regained the lead 34-33 with exactly three minutes remaining for the seventh lead change of the game. Rouse's 3-pointer put Mount Olive back on top and Creddle hit a 3-pointer to extend the Trojans' lead to five. The two teams exchanged baskets and Mount Olive led 41-36 at halftime.

Maurice Horton and Victor Young both scored in the first minute of the second half as the Trojans took their biggest lead at 45-36. Taiwon Grooms and Joseph Gripper hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull St. Andrews within three, but Horton's 3-pointer with 15:06 remaining extended Mount Olive's lead to 50-44.

After St. Andrews cut the lead to one, Creddle hit a 3-pointer to give the Trojans a 55-51 lead 12:13 remaining. Mount Olive still held a four-point lead, but Dwayne Jeffcoat and Grooms combined for four consecutive free throws and Chad Eichelberger's putback with 7:22 remaining put St. Andrews on top 61-59, the Knights' first lead of the second half.

Mount Olive went nearly five minutes without a point until Elton Coffield's layup with 4:38 remaining tied the game, the fifth of eight ties in the contest. Coffield's basket would ignite a run of six unanswered points for the Trojans, capped by a wild play that saw Rouse break up a pass on one end of the court and retrieve a loose ball underneath the basket for a layup to give the Trojans led 65-61 with 2:39 left in the game.

Eichelberger answered with a pair of free throws and Bobby Short's layup -- St. Andrews' first field goal in nearly six minutes -- tied the game 65-65 with 1:41 remaining.

Horton's runner off the glass with 1:20 left put Mount Olive back on top, but Grooms' short jumper tied the game with exactly 60 seconds remaining. Horton missed a 3-pointer, but Rouse snuck in underneath for the offensive rebound and put the ball in off the glass to give the Trojans a 69-67 lead with 43 seconds left.

St. Andrews tied the game again on Grooms' jumper with 23 seconds. After Creddle's running jumper wouldn't fall, Grooms was called for a foul on the rebound, sending the Trojans to the line for a one-and-one with 6.8 seconds left. Mount Olive missed the front end, setting up Worley's final play.

St. Andrews elected not to call a timeout and Worley drove the length of the court, sinking an off-balance five-footer from the left baseline and drawing the foul with 0.8 seconds remaining. Worley hit the free throw to complete the three-point play and give St. Andrews a three-point lead.

Mount Olive had one last opportunity, but the inbounds pass was tipped away in the frontcourt and the Trojans were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer.

Creddle finished with 16 points, while Rouse notched his third double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rouse also tallied five assists and three steals. The Trojans committed only 11 turnovers, but were held to a season-low 28 points in the second half.

Grooms led four St. Andrews players with a game-high 23 points, while Eichelberger scored 16 points, Short added 11 points and Gripper finished with 10 points. Eichelberger and Gripper both recorded double-doubles with 10 rebounds apiece. St. Andrews outrebounded Mount Olive 41-27.

Mount Olive will find out Tuesday how the loss affects its national ranking. Numerous top 25 teams suffered losses during the past seven days, including the Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4 teams.

Mount Olive is off until Saturday when the Trojans travel to Anderson, S.C., to take on Anderson in a CVAC tilt. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

MOC Sports Information