11/21/07 — Trojans rout Pfeiffer

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Trojans rout Pfeiffer

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 21, 2007 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Keep your composure and stay focused.

It's a simple game plan Mount Olive College employs when in-state rival Pfeiffer brings its run-and-gun offense to Kornegay Arena. The pitfall to avoid is getting caught watching the game and falling out of synch.

The Falcons play a relentless in-your-face style and substitute with a platoon system (five players) every two to three minutes. The strategy keeps Pfeiffer fresh and oftentimes wears down the opponent.

"It's pressing at times on your legs because all you do is run," said MOC point guard Justin Melton. "It's hard to keep up sometimes."

But the Trojans easily kept the pace. Melton and Brandon Streeter each posted a double-double as Mount Olive prevailed 101-82 in the Conference Carolinas opener for both teams at Kornegay Arena.

Melton emerged one of six players in double figures with 17 points and dished out 10 assists in 31-plus minutes. Streeter contributed a game-high 20 points and 15 rebounds, including nine offensive boards.

Mike Holloman and Kendrick Easley, who was named the CC player of the week, chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively. Josh Brown added 11, while Aaron Dobson provided 10 off the bench.

Mount Olive (3-0 overall) won for the fifth time in the last six meetings against Pfeiffer, which is off to an uncharacteristic 0-3 start. The Trojans, who upended two top-10 teams during last weekend's Pickle Classic, get a nine-day break before visiting Queens on Nov. 29.

"It was very tough mentally for us to get back on the trail to Pfeiffer," said Trojans head coach Bill Clingan. "(Weekend distractions) made it difficult Sunday to refocus our minds. Monday, we were not satisfied with practice and really, it's not easy for these guys.

"But these first three games, even though we see there's a lot to work on, there have been a lot of bright spots."

The first 15 minutes of Tuesday's affair resembled past MOC-Pfeiffer contests. The teams traded their typical runs and neither club gained more than a two- or three-possession advantage.

Pfeiffer raced to an 11-3 lead in the first five minutes. The Trojans answered with a 14-2 run, capped by Streeter's putback with 10:42 left in the opening half.

Four ties and four lead changes later, Mount Olive took control for good. The Trojans tightened the reins on defense, deflected balls in the passing lane and crashed the boards on both ends of the court. Easley's open-court layup off Holloman's assist ignited a 15-10 surge which put the Trojans ahead 44-39 at halftime.

"We just had to find a groove," said Melton, who dished out seven second-half assists. "Dribble penetration and kicking out is what the coaches talked with us about. We got the ball as deep in the lane as we could and if we had a shot, we needed to take it.

"But they collapse easily, so you also have to kick it out (on the perimeter). Once we started executing, that made the game a lot easier."

That offensive success carried over into the second half as Mount Olive outscored Pfeiffer 20-6 in the first 5-plus minutes. Holloman, Streeter, Shaughnnon Washum, Melton and Craig Hayes all hit baskets during that stretch.

The Falcons never got closer until the final margin.

Mount Olive built as much as a 31-point lead and Clingan emptied his bench to give the reserves some quality minutes in the up-tempo pace. The Trojans shot 60 percent (24 of 40) from the floor in the second half and 50.6 percent (40 of 83) for the game.

"It takes a while to adjust to what we're trying to tell them. If you haven't played against it, you don't understand it until you've experienced it," said Clingan. "We've got a certain philosophy when we play Pfeiffer and it took a while for it to sink in. They got after us early and it took us a while to get refocused."

PFEIFFER (0-3, 0-1)

Clyde Chapman 2 0 3-6 7, Craig Thomas 2 0 0-0 4, Quintel Maxwell 0 1 0-0 3, Alvin Slaton 0 3 1-2 10, Robert McGriff 5 1 6-6 19, Thomas Carr 2 1 0-0 7, Chris Woods 5 0 2-2 12, Logan Call 0 1 0-0 3, Mike Davidson 0 1 0-0 3, Jeff Pettiway 3 0 4-4 10, Josh Crumpler 1 0 0-1 2, Austin Haugh 0 0 2-2 2, Derrick Truesdale 0 0 0-0 0. TOTALS -- 20 8 18-23 82.

MOUNT OLIVE (3-0, 1-0)

Brandon Streeter 8 0 4-9 20, Lydell Walker 3 0 1-4 7, Kendrick Easley 6 0 0-0 12, Mike Holloman 5 0 3-4 13, Justin Melton 5 2 1-4 17, Josh Brown 4 1 0-0 11, Shaughnnon Washum 1 0 1-1 3, Aaron Dobson 2 2 0-0 10, Montel Jones 0 0 0-0 0, Craig Hayes 3 0 2-3 8, Chris Holloway 0 0 0-2 0, Kason Cheeks 0 0 0-1 0 0. TOTALS -- 37 5 12-28 101.

Halftime -- MOC 44-39. 3-point goals -- MOC 5-15, Pfeiffer 8-28. Rebounds -- MOC 52 (Streeter 15), Pfeiffer 45 (Woods 7). Assists -- MOC 25 (Melton 10), Pfeiffer 13 (McGriff, Pettiway 3). Turnovers -- MOC 18, Pfeiffer 24. Blocked shots -- MOC 14 (Walker 4), Pfeiffer 0. Steals -- MOC 12 (Easley 3), Pfeiffer 5 (Maxwell 2).