12/01/06 — Mount Olive men snap two-game skid

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Mount Olive men snap two-game skid

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on December 1, 2006 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Bill Clingan doesn't like all these early season conference games, but what the coach did like was his team's performance Thursday night at Kornegay Arena.

The Trojans held St. Andrews to zero field goals during an 81/2-minute stretch in the second half to break open a close game and coast to a 87-71 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference victory.

"Great team effort," said Clingan, whose team never trailed. "Our guys came together as a team tonight."

Elton Coffield led the balanced assault, scoring 19 points off the bench to pace four Trojans in double figures.

"(Elton) needs to shoot the ball," Clingan said. "That's his role, he's a shooter. I think he was trying to be too much of a teammate at times."

Elijah Rouse added 18 points despite only playing 21 minutes because of foul trouble for Mount Olive, which improved to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the CVAC. Brandon Streeter came off the bench to score 16 and Kendrick Easley added 12.

St. Andrews, which dropped to 2-3 overall and remained winless in two CVAC outings, was led by Taiwon Grooms who scored 19.

In the first half, Mount Olive looked as if it might blow out the visiting Knights when it went up by 11 on a three-pointer from Easley. St. Andrews came right back to cut the deficit to 41-36 at halftime thanks to seven three-point bombs.

"(St. Andrews) has a good basketball team," Clingan said. "They're well coached."

In the second half, the Knights pulled even closer and trimmed the Trojan lead to 43-40.

Clingan and the Trojans then decided to stop chasing the Knights around the court and began to mix up their defenses.

The strategy paid dividends as St. Andrews would go ice cold from the floor while Mount Olive improved on its hot shooting from the first half.

The Trojans defense rattled the Knights as they would miss 10 of their next 11 shots. On offense, the Trojans attacked outside and inside.

A steal and lay-up by Montel Jones ignited a 26-8 spurt over the next 10 minutes.

The run was made even more impressive considering Rouse had to sit down with 12:53 to play after picking up his fourth personal foul and didn't reenter until the outcome was already decided.

Coffield stepped up in Rouse's absence and padded the Trojan's lead.

"When one player goes down, someone else has to pick them up," said Coffield.

His two long treys pushed the lead to 17 with 11:13 left.

"It felt good to finally get into a rhythm," said Coffield, who finished 4 of 7 from long distance.

Coffield's hot shooting was contagious as the Trojans shot a blistering 55 percent for the game -- including 57 percent in the second half.

"Our guys were on target tonight," said Clingan.

During the run, Streeter also stepped up off the bench, scoring all 16 of his points in the final half.

"Brandon is capable of nights like that every night," Clingan said. "His teammates really helped him by doing a lot of moving. They took the defense away which gave him some one-on-one opportunities inside and he's really tough inside."

A lay-in by Streeter gave Mount Olive its largest lead of the night at 69-48 with 7:30 remaining, removing any doubt of the final outcome.

While the victory was an impressive one, Clingan is preaching caution regarding his squad.

"This team is still a work in progress," he said. "We're a new makeup. We have enough talent that we're going to win some games, but we have to put those ingredients together."

Mount Olive won't have too long to enjoy the win as the Trojans return to action on Saturday when Limestone comes to town.

"We've got to get ready for Saturday," Clingan said. "Limestone's a good team, so we've got a lot to prepare for starting tomorrow."

ST. ANDREWS (2-3, 0-2)

Dorian Andrews 3 0 0-0 6, Taiwon Grooms 4 0 11-12 19, Richard Stone 0 3 2-2 11, Jeff Worley 2 1 0-0 7, Dwayne Jeffcoat 1 1 1-1 6, Justin Brauda 0 0 0-0, Benny Zacharias 0 0 0-0 0, Marcus Hoke 1 3 2-3 13, Charles Phillips 1 0 0-0 2, Keith Josey 1 0 3-6 5, Donte Fields 1 0 0-0 2, Ron Deas 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 14 8 19-24 71.

MOUNT OLIVE (3-2, 1-2)

Elijah Rouse 9 0 0-0 18, Lydell Walker 3 0 2-4 8, Kendrick Easley 3 2 0-1 12, Montel Jones 1 0 0-0 2, Justin Melton 2 0 0-0 4, Paulius Dziugelis 0 0 0-0 0, Brandon Streeter 5 0 6-10 16, Mike Holloman 3 0 0-2, Chris Holloway 0 0 2-2 2, Elton Coffield 3 4 1-1 19, Josh Brown 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 29 6 11-20 87.

Halftime -- Mount Olive 41-36. Three-point goals -- SA 8-23 (Grooms 0-2, Stone 3-9, Worley 1-1, Jeffcoat 1-2, Hoke 3-7, Phillips 0-1, Josey 0-1), MOC 6-18 (Easley 2-7, Jones 0-2, Melton 0-1, Holloman 0-1, Coffield 4-7). Rebounds -- SA 31 (Grooms 7), MOC 38 (Coffield 7). Assists -- SA 13 (Worley 8), MOC (Coffield 6). Turnovers -- SA 20, MOC 16. Blocked shots -- SA 1, MOC 3. Steals -- SA 8 (Grooms, Worley 2), MOC 8 (Jones, Streeter, Holloman 2). A -- 425.