11/28/06 — MOC falls to Lees-McRae

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MOC falls to Lees-McRae

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on November 28, 2006 1:47 PM

BANNER ELK -- Mount Olive rallied from a pair of nine-point deficits, but Lees-McRae took the lead for good midway through the second half and iced the game from the free throw line to upset the nationally 19th-ranked Trojans 86-77 in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball Monday night. Kendrick Easley led all scorers with a career-high 25 points for the Trojans.

Mount Olive (2-2 overall, 0-2 CVAC) jumped out to a 9-2 lead as Montel Jones' three-pointer sparked a run of nine unanswered points. But Lees-McRae (3-2, 2-0) answered with a 14-2 run of its own to regain the lead. After a pair of lead changes, Lees-McRae pulled away as Stephen Haymer's three-point play with 1:48 left in the half gave the Bobcats their biggest lead at 37-28.

Brandon Streeter took over for Mount Olive late in the half, connecting on a pair of free throws with one minute remaining and hitting a basket with 24 seconds left in the half. Streeter blocked a shot with five seconds left as the Trojans went into the locker room trailing 37-32. Streeter scored the Trojans' last nine points of the half and finished with 11 points at the break.

Streeter scored the first basket of the second half and Elijah Rouse and Easley followed with buckets to complete a 10-0 run and give the Trojans a 38-37 lead with 18:14 left in the game. The lead changed hands five times over the next two minutes before Henry Williams' three-pointer sparked a Lees-McRae run as the Bobcats built the lead to 54-45 with 14:06 remaining.

Easley began another Mount Olive run with a three-pointer and his trey with 11:48 remaining tied the game 58-58. But after Easley and Lees-McRae's Blake Carr traded free throws, Carr's three-pointer with 9:45 left in the game put the Bobcats ahead to stay.

Lees-McRae extended the lead to 76-69 on Aaron Dugger's basket with 4:08, but the Trojans cut the lead to four on Easley's fourth three-pointer of the game. After the Bobcats built a five-point lead, Rouse hit a pair of free throws with exactly one minute remaining to pull the Trojans within 80-77. But the Trojans would not score again and Lees-McRae hit 6-of-6 free throws to seal the win.

The loss ended Mount Olive's streak of 16 consecutive wins over Lees-McRae, dating back to a 71-70 defeat at Banner Elk during the 1999-2000 season.

Rouse finished with 18 points and a game-high seven rebounds, while Streeter added 16 points. Easley, a freshman from Norfolk, Va., has scored in double figures in each of his first four collegiate games. Easley and Rouse tallied three steals apiece.

Dugger led Lees-McRae with 21 points, while Pete Dunbar added 19 points and Williams added 17. Both Dugger and Dunbar went 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Dugger hit four of the Bobcats' final six free throws.

Mount Olive returns to action Thursday as the Trojans play host to St. Andrews in a CVAC tilt. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.