No. 22-ranked Trojan men lose pair of games
By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on December 30, 2007 2:01 AM
HICKORY -- Mount Olive hit just two free throws in the final four minutes and Catawba rallied for a 79-78 victory on day two of the Lenoir-Rhyne/Moretz Sports Men's Basketball Classic.
The No. 22-ranked Trojans grabbed their biggest lead, 74-69, after Brandon Streeter connected on a conventional three-point play with 4:32 remaining in regulation. But MOC scored just two points the rest of the way as Catawba unleashed a game-clinching 10-2 run.
Donald Rutherford drained one of two free throws with 36 seconds left to break a 76-76 tie. Aking Eltsing's layup with seven seconds left ended Mount Olive's field-goal drought and closed the gap to 79-78.
Catawba missed two free throws and the Trojans (5-3 overall) faltered on a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.
Streeter tallied 15 of his 17 points in the second half, while Lydell Walker matched his career high with 15 points. Kendrick Easley and Mike Holloman chipped in 11 points apiece. Streeter, who ranks 10th nationally in rebounding, pulled down a game-high nine boards.
The contest featured 19 lead changes.
Mount Olive opened the two-day Classic with a 83-74 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne on Friday. The host Bears drained 9 of 10 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the non-conference victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne threatened to pull away midway through the second half, but the Trojans climbed within one on scores from Walker and Shaughnnon Washum. The Bears misfired on their next possession and Justin Melton (19 points) buried a 3-pointer to put Mount Olive back on top 70-68 with 3:18 to go.
Tied at 70-70, Melton picked L-RC for a steal near midcourt and slammed it home. But the play drew a technical foul as officials ruled he pulled himself up on the rim after the dunk.
The Bears converted both free throws and moved in front for good 10 seconds later. The Trojans could never pull back in front despite a 20 of 30 effort from the free throw line themselves.
Easley, who fouled out with six minutes remaining, added 16 points. Washum was 7 of 10 from the free throw stripe and contributed 11 points, while Elting pumped in nine.
Streeter snatched a game-leading nine rebounds.
Mount Olive continues its road swing Wednesday at Tusculum (Tenn.) College. The Trojans visit Conference Carolinas rival Anderson (S.C.) University on Jan. 5.
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