02/09/07 — College basketball: Trojans win sixth straight

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College basketball: Trojans win sixth straight

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on February 9, 2007 2:15 PM

LAURINBURG -- Mount Olive freshman Josh Brown hit both ends of a 1-and-1 with 10.5 seconds left and scored all of his 12 points in the second half as Mount Olive extended its winning streak to six with an 83-80 win over St. Andrews in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball Thursday.

The Trojans saw a double-digit lead cut to one point before Brown's free throws helped seal the win.

"There's no pressure," Brown said. "We shoot free throws every day in practice."

Elton Coffield led four Trojans in double figures with 20 points.

Mount Olive (17-5 overall, 11-4 CVAC) overcame an early five-point deficit as Coffield hit three three-pointers in a span of just over two minutes and Chris Bartley and Kendrick Easley hit from long range to give the Trojans a 36-23 lead with 3:52 left in the first half.

Coffield's three with 9:05 put the Trojans ahead to stay, but St. Andrews (9-13, 6-9) wouldn't go away as Marcus Hoke's three-pointer with five seconds left pulled the Knights within 41-33 at halftime.

"St. Andrews kept battling, so we knew we couldn't let up," said Brown.

Coffield had 13 points at the break, while Taiwon Grooms (15 points) and Richard Stone (12 points) combined for 27 of St. Andrews' 33 first-half points.

Easley's three-pointer with 19:02 remaining extended the Trojans' lead to nine, but Keith Josey's layup capped a St. Andrews run and cut Mount Olive's lead to 50-48 with 16:09 remaining. The Trojans were up 54-51 when back-to-back three-pointers by Coffield and Brown capped an 8-0 run built Mount Olive's lead to 11, its biggest of the second half.

An Elijah Rouse layup with 8:38 remaining gave Mount Olive a 70-60 lead, but St. Andrews would answer with an 8-0 run to pull within two. Coffield and Brown combined to hit 4-of-4 free throws, but the Trojans were held without a field goal for nearly five minutes.

With the Trojans leading 74-72, St. Andrews had a chance to take its first lead of the second half with just over four minutes remaining, but Mike Holloman made two defensive plays to keep Mount Olive on top. Holloman cut off a fast break opportunity, then blocked Stone's three-point attempt.

Rouse's basket underneath with 3:44 remaining ended Mount Olive's field goal drought and gave the Trojans a 78-72 lead. After Stone hit a pair of free throws, Brown hit a three-pointer from NBA range with 2:52 remaining. That would be Mount Olive's last field goal of the game as Stone answered with a three-pointer from the left corner to cut the Trojans' lead to four.

Josey blocked a shot on one end and hit an 18-footer on the other to pull St. Andrews within 81-79 with 1:46 left. The Trojans were unable to convert on two attempts, giving the ball to the Knights with 53 seconds remaining.

St. Andrews would come up with three offensive rebounds on its next possession, including a rebound off of a blocked shot by Lydell Walker, before Josey drew a foul to go to the free throw line for two shots with 11.5 seconds left. After a Mount Olive timeout, Josey hit the first to make it a one-point game, but the second attempt rattled out. The rebound went out of bounds on the baseline, last touched by St. Andrews as exactly one second went off the clock.

Brown was fouled before the ball was inbounded and calmly hit both free throws, forcing St. Andrews to go for a three-pointer. Stone's off-balance three-pointer wouldn't fall, but the Knights looked to get a second chance when DeRalle Piersall saved the ball inbounds. But the ball went into the hands of Coffield, who held the ball as the final buzzer sounded.

Easley scored 16 points, while Walker scored six of Mount Olive's first eight points and finished with 12 points and two blocked shots. Holloman tallied career highs of seven assists and three blocked shots.

Brown (4-for-4), Coffield (6-for-6) and Easley (4-for-4) combined to hit 14-of-14 free throws. The Trojans shot 17-for-22 from the line for the game, including 12-for-14 in the second half.

Grooms finished with a game-high 29 points for St. Andrews, while Stone finished with 26 points and Josey added 12 points. Justin Brauda dished out a game-high eight assists.

Mount Olive returns to action Saturday as the Trojans play host to Lees-McRae in a CVAC tilt. Tip-off is 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.