Trojan men hope to avenge CVAC loss against Royals
Published in Sports on February 10, 2006 2:23 PM
Coming off its first home loss in more than a year and heading into its second consecutive game against a regional top 10 team, this may have been a good week for a "snow day" for the Mount Olive men's basketball team.
Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the regionally seventh-ranked Trojans play host to regional No. 8 Queens in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball. Tipoff is 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.
Mount Olive (16-5 overall, 10-4 CVAC) had its 19-game home winning streak snapped Monday in the Trojans' 85-78 loss to Barton. Elton Coffield scored a game-high 27 points, but the Trojans fell behind by as many as 14 points in the second half and never got closer than three the rest of the way.
A more obscure streak also came to an end Monday -- the Trojans' run of nine consecutive wins when at least five players score in double figures. Ironically, Mount Olive's last defeat when placing at least five players in double figures was also its last home loss: Jan. 10, 2005, vs. Pfeiffer.
While CVAC basketball games are normally played on a Monday/Thursday/Saturday schedule, yesterday was set aside as a predetermined make-up day in case snow canceled any contests. No games have been snowed out, so last night was an off-night for everyone in the conference.
The extra time off couldn't have come at a better time for the Trojans, who took both Tuesday and Wednesday off from practice. Head coach Bill Clingan says the team needs to work on its mental game, as well as X's and O's.
"This is crunch time and we have a lot of big games coming up, starting with this Saturday," Clingan said. "We need to be mentally focused."
The Trojans will need to be focused for a resurgent Queens (15-6, 9-5) team that has won five of its last six games, including a 72-57 win at home against Anderson Monday. Timon Farley led the Royals with 16 points.
Mount Olive hopes to avenge a 95-80 loss at Queens back in November, less than a week after Thanksgiving in an unusually early start to conference play. Coffield scored a game-high 23 for Mount Olive, which was ranked No. 6 in the NABC Division II Top 25 at the time.
The Trojans hope Saturday's contest bears more of a resemblance to the last time the two teams faced each other in Kornegay Arena (then College Hall). Mount Olive shot 63 percent from the field and defeated Queens 104-62 last January, the Trojans' largest margin of victory over the Royals.
Saturday's contest could loom large in a few weeks when NCAA II Tournament berths are announced. Along with the three conference champions in the East Region (CVAC, Pennsylvania, West Virginia), the five highest-ranked teams in the region receive at-large bids.
NOTES: Chris Bartley's streak of consecutive games with at least one three-pointer was in jeopardy Monday for more than 39 minutes, but his three with 31 seconds left extended his streak to 11 games ... Mount Olive has not lost consecutive games since the 2003-04 season.
By DAVID SHULIMSON
MOC Sports Information
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