Easley's free throw lifts Mt. Olive men
By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on January 3, 2008 3:20 PM
MOC Sports Information
GREENVILLE, Tenn. -- Kendrick Easley converted the game-winning free throw with 10 seconds left as No. 22-ranked Mount Olive edged Tusculum 60-59 on Wednesday evening.
Easley poured in a team-high 21 points for the Trojans (6-3 overall), who snapped a two-game losing streak and return to action Saturday afternoon at Conference Carolinas member Anderson (S.C.) University.
Brandon Streeter provided a double-double -- 10 points, 11 rebounds.
The second half began as a battle of free throws before Jordan Lear's 3-pointer gave Tusculum a five-point lead. Easley answered with a 3-pointer, but Kyle Moore's 3-pointer with 15:03 remaining pushed the Pioneers in front 43-36.
After Montel Jones' 3-pointer pulled the Trojans within a field goal, Tusculum extended its lead to as many as six points. The Trojans got as close as three points before Jeter's fast-break layup gave the Pioneers a 55-50 lead with 4:25 to go.
Tusculum had a chance to build the lead back to seven points on its next possession on a fast-break opportunity, but Mike Holloman blocked a shot from behind and the ball went out of bounds off a Tusculum player. Justin Melton followed with a 3-pointer from the left corner to pull the Trojans within 55-53 with 3:49 remaining.
Tusculum missed two of its next three free throw attempts, including the front end of a one-and-one. Streeter hit a layup to pull the Trojans within one, pulled down a defensive rebound on a missed layup, then tipped in a missed shot to give Mount Olive its first lead of the second half, 57-56, with 2:13 left to play.
Streeter had four points and three rebounds in a span of 68 seconds.
Mount Olive stopped Tusculum on its next two possessions on a blocked shot by Lydell Walker and a steal by Holloman. Easley hit a layup with 52 seconds left to extend the Trojans' lead to 59-56. Kyle Moore then hit a three-pointer with 33 seconds left to tie the game 59-59.
After a Tusculum timeout, Easley drove to the basket and drew a foul. Easley, who was six for seven from the line up to that point, hit the first free throw, but missed the second.
Tusculum missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Mount Olive shot 75.0 percent (12-for-16) from the line and outrebounded Tusculum 39-33. Both teams were held to 38-percent shooting from the field. Holloman led the Trojans defensively with three steals and three blocked shots.
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