Mount Olive men record third straight 20-win season
Published in Sports on February 19, 2006 2:15 AM
MOC Sports Information
DUE WEST, S.C. -- Victor Young scored a season-high 22 points and regionally-ranked Mount Olive College fended off Erskine (S.C.) College 69-67 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans clinched their third consecutive 20-win season. Mount Olive posted a school-record 29 wins a year ago after completing a 23-8 worksheet in 2003-04.
Mount Olive (20-5, 14-4 CVAC) also grabbed the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye for the CVAC Tournament, which gets underway Feb. 27.
The victory also assured Mount Olive (20-5, 14-4 CVAC) of
The Trojans jumped out to an 18-4 lead in the first eight minutes of the game as Melvin Creddle capped the run with back-to-back steals and layups. Young scored nine of the Trojans' first 18 points.
Erskine (10-15, 7-11) chipped away at the lead and Lindokuhle Sibankulu's putback with 1:44 remaining in the half brought the Trojans' lead down to single digits at 27-19. Mount Olive built the lead to double figures again, but Reed Long's three-pointer sparked a 5-0 run to end the half and the Flying Fleet pulled within 29-24 at halftime.
Erskine got as close as four points early in the second half, but Young and Elijah Rouse six points apiece during a 12-2 run to extend the Trojans' lead to 43-29 with 14:38 left in the contest. Erskine cut the lead to 10, but Young and Rouse combined to score the Trojans' next nine consecutive points and Maurice Horton's basket with 10:12 remaining gave Mount Olive its biggest lead of the game at 54-36.
Horton scored the Trojans' first basket of the second half, then Young and Rouse combined to score the Trojans' next 21 points until Horton's second field goal.
The Trojans appeared to have the game in hand as Erskine never got any closer than 11 points and Elton Coffield's basket gave Mount Olive a 65-52 lead with 2:56 left in the game. But the Trojans would not hit another field goal, giving the Flying Fleet a chance for one last run.
Craig Williams, who led all scorers with 26 points, scored on Erskine's next two possessions and Drew Wallace's 3-pointer pulled the Flying Fleet within 65-59 with 1:36 remaining. Mount Olive used up almost the entire shot clock on its next possession, but came up empty and TJ Taylor hit a basket and drew a foul with 39 seconds left.
Taylor missed the free throw, but Long pulled down the offensive board and Taylor drew another foul, this time hitting both free throws to pull Erskine within 65-63 with 35 seconds left. The two-point margin was the closest since Mount Olive led 2-0.
Creddle hit a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining to give the Trojans a four-point lead and make it a two-possession game, but Taylor scored again six seconds later to bring Erskine back within two.
After Creddle hit 1-of-2 free throws for the Trojans, Williams hit a basket for Erskine with 10 seconds left to make the score 68-67. Horton was fouled immediately and hit his first attempt, but missed on the second attempt, giving Erskine a final opportunity for a tie or a win.
But Williams, who connected on 12 of his first 20 attempts from the field, missed the potential tying basket and Creddle pulled down the defensive rebound to seal the win.
Creddle and Rouse finished with 16 points apiece for Mount Olive. Rouse, who entered the game with a 65.5 percent free throw percentage, was 8-for-8 from the line Saturday and scored 12 of his points in the second half. Young was 7-for-11 from the field and 6-for-8 from the line. The Trojans shot 71.4 percent (20-for-28) from the line.
Horton finished with five points to give him 998 career points, coming within two points of becoming the second Trojan player this week to reach the career 1,000-point mark. Young scored his 1,000th career point Monday against Coker.
Taylor scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half for Erskine, including six in the final 39 seconds. Williams pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Mount Olive plays its regular-season home finale Monday against in-state rival Pfeiffer University. Seniors Creddle, Horton, Young and Chuckie Jefferson will be honored in between the women's and men's games. Four-year seniors Horton, Jefferson and Young have a career record of 90-28 for a .763 winning percentage.
MOUNT OLIVE COLLEGE (20-5, 14-4 CVAC)
Elijah Rouse 4 0 8-8 16, Maurice Horton 2 0 1-2 5, Victor Young 5 2 6-8 22, Melvin Creddle 3 2 4-6 16, Chuckie Jefferson 0 0 0-0 0, Montel Jones 0 0 0-0 0, Chris Holloway 1 0 0-0 2, Justin Melton 0 0 0-0 0, Elton Coffield 2 1 1-2 8, Chris Bartley 0 0 0-2 0. TOTALS -- 17 5 20-28 69.
ERSKINE (S.C.) COLLEGE (10-15, 7-11)
Jay Waring 0 0 0-0 0, Craig Williams 11 1 1-3 26, Jason Winecoff 0 0 2-2 2, T.J. Taylor 6 0 4-5 16, Drew Wallace 2 1 2-2 9, Matt Odom 0 0 0-0 0, Reed Long 0 2 0-0 6, Eric Schoenbaechler 0 0 2-4 2, Lindokuhle Sibankulu 3 0 0-0 6. TOTALS -- 22 4 11-16 67.
Halftime -- Mount Olive 29-24. 3-point goals -- Mount Olive 5-17, Erskine 4-19. Rebounds -- Mount Olive 30 (Rouse, Creddle 6), Erskine 35 (Williams 8). Assists -- Mount Olive 15 (Rouse 5), Erskine 18 (Wallace 8). Turnovers -- Mount Olive 9, Erskine 16. Blocked shots -- Mount Olive 1, Erskine 1. Steals -- Mount Olive 9 (Rouse, Creddle 3), Erskine 4 (Williams, Wallace 2).
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