01/11/08 — Mount Olive and St. Andrews split Conference Carolinas twinbill

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Mount Olive and St. Andrews split Conference Carolinas twinbill

Published in Sports on January 11, 2008 1:48 PM

LAURINBURG -- Justin Melton led four players in double figures with 17 points as Mount Olive College defeated St. Andrews 87-82 in a Conference Carolinas men's basketball game Thursday evening.

Brandon Streeter added 14 points for the Trojans, who remained unbeaten (3-0) in the new year and exited 8-3 overall. Mike Holloman provided 12 points and game-highs of eight assists and seven rebounds, while sophomore Kendrick Easley contributed 11 points.

Mount Olive improved to 4-1 in league play.

The Trojans owned a seven-point, first-half advantage before unleashing a 10-2 run. During a 10-second sequence, Streeter blocked a shot and Melton gradded the defensive rebound. Holloman's slam dunk off Shaughnnon Washum's assist capped the play.

St. Andrews (2-10 overall, 1-4 CC) pulled within 42-32 at halftime.

Mount Olive tied its largest lead of the night early in the second half, 49-34, but the Knights kept battling with a 13-4 run. Zack Garst capped the rally with a 3-pointer, followed by a baseline jumper to pull St. Andrews to within 53-47 with over 14 minutes left.

The Trojans slowly regained their double-digit lead and an old-fashioned three-point play by Melton extended their advantage to 78-65 with 2:38 to go. Mount Olive continued to hold the 13-point lead in the final minute but St. Andrews would not give up. The Knights converted five free throws and three layups in the final 40 seconds to get close.

Trojan women fall

LAURINBURG -- Desiree Jones drained a 3-pointer in the final 80 seconds and St. Andrews pulled out a 56-52 victory over Mount Olive in their Conference Carolinas contest Thursday evening.

The Knights (3-8 overall, 2-3 CC) presented head coach Dave Johnson with his 50th career win. Johnson is St. Andrews' winningest coach in the program's 13 years on the Division II scene.

Mount Olive held a 52-45 lead with six minutes left but St. Andrews finished the game on a 11-0 run to take the victory.

The Knights started the decisive run by taking advantage of four Trojans fouls and converting six of eight free throw attempts. Danielle Norman, the reigning Conference Carolinas player of the week, and April Johnson each nailed a pair of free throws.

Johnson added a third straight free throw and the Knights were able to corral the offensive rebound on her final missed attempt. Jones added another free throw to pull within one at 52-51 with 2:12 left.

The St. Andrews defense, which held the Trojans scoreless in the final six minutes, followed with its biggest defensive stand holding Mount Olive without a shot and causing a shot clock violation. On the ensuing possession and with the shot clock in single digits, Jones confidently took a clutch 3-pointer to catapult the Knights into the lead -- 54-52 -- with 1:19 remaining.

St. Andrews regained the ball and looked to kill a lot of the clock in the final minute but Mount Olive junior Brittney Robich made a big steal that set herself up for a fast break layup, but her attempt just rimmed out. The Trojans got one last chance to tie the game after the Knights committed another turnover, but another layup attempt missed.

Norman (16 points, 12 rebounds) grabbed the rebound and hit two more free throws with a couple ticks on the clock to put away the game. Former Eastern Wayne standout Jessy Perkins added six points and eight rebounds.

Robich and sophomore Helen Moore led Mount Olive with 12 points apiece, while junior Alisa Jones had a team-high nine rebounds. Keona Corley had game highs of six assists and four steals.

Mount Olive concludes a three-game, conference road swing Saturday at in-state rival Lees-McRae.

The women's game tips off at 2 p.m.