Regionally-ranked Trojans head to Anderson
Published in Sports on February 3, 2006 2:26 PM
The Mount Olive men's basketball team will do something Saturday it hasn't done in nearly a year: play a game without being nationally ranked.
Mount Olive plays its first game in five days as the Trojans head to Anderson, S.C., Saturday to take on Anderson in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball. The game will begin at 4 p.m.
Mount Olive (15-4 overall, 9-3 CVAC) is coming off a buzzer-beater 72-69 loss at St. Andrews Monday, a game decided by a three-point play with 0.8 seconds remaining. The Trojans had won the first meeting by 24 points in December.
Trojan leading scorer and "sixth man" Elton Coffield was limited to eight points Monday, only the third time this season he has been held under double figures. Coffield saw limited action in the second half after inadvertently getting hit in the face while going for a loose ball. Coffield may need to wear protective face gear Saturday against Anderson.
Coffield continues to lead four players in double figures this season, joining the senior guard trio of Melvin Creddle, Maurice Horton and Victor Young. Creddle, who broke a school record with 13 assists against Pfeiffer eight days ago, scored a team-high 16 points Monday.
Junior forward Elijah Rouse notched his third double-double of the season Monday with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Rouse ranks third in the CVAC in rebounding with 7.2 boards per game.
Defensively, Mount Olive is the only team in the CVAC with three players ranked in the top 10 in the conference in steals per game: Horton ranks third, while Creddle is fourth and Rouse ranks eighth.
Anderson (4-15, 2-11) is coming off an 80-73 loss at Lees-McRae Thursday. O'Tey Sellers led the "other" Trojans with 18 points.
Saturday's contest is a rematch of the two teams' first meeting in early January, won by Mount Olive 90-65 at Kornegay Arena. Coffield scored 21 points and the Trojans hit 10-of-15 three-pointers in the second half to break open a close game.
While Mount Olive is perfect (11-0) at home this season, the Trojans are .500 on the road: 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the CVAC.
No matter what happens in the CVAC, Mount Olive will still be in second place in the CVAC standings after Saturday's play. The Trojans enter Saturday's game two games ahead of third-place Queens and 31/2 games behind conference leader Barton, which remained unbeaten in conference play. Mount Olive plays host to nationally eighth-ranked Barton Monday at Kornegay Arena.
Saturday's game will end Mount Olive's streak of 30 consecutive games as a nationally-ranked team. The Trojans fell out of this week's NABC Division II Top 25. The last time the Trojans played a game without being ranked in the national top 25 was Feb. 14, 2005, against Belmont Abbey.
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