01/21/08 — Mount Olive men elude Limestone's upset bid

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Mount Olive men elude Limestone's upset bid

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on January 21, 2008 2:48 PM

GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Kendrick Easley delivered a tie-breaking basket in the final 120 seconds of play and pumped in 34 points as Mount Olive escaped Limestone 90-84 in a Conference Carolinas contest Saturday evening.

Easley, who came within two points of matching his career high, collected six of the Trojans' final 10 points. Mount Olive (11-3 overall, 7-1 CC) reached the 90-point mark for the third straight game and claimed its sixth consecutive victory.

Tied at 80, point guard Justin Melton grabbed a key offensive rebound and Easley converted the possession. Easley then picked the Saints for a steal, which led to an uncontested layup to make it 84-80.

Limestone (2-10, 0-7) pulled within a single bucket, but the Trojans used two offensive rebounds to run nearly 90 seconds off the clock. Brown's fade-away 17-footer with 34 seconds remaining pushed Mount Olive's lead to 86-82.

Melton and Easley each sank two free throws to seal the win.

Easley buried six shots from 3-point range, while Brandon Streeter contributed 14 points. Brown supplied 10 points as the Trojans moved into a first-place tie in the league standings with archrival Barton, the reigning national champion.

The Trojans answered the Saints' first basket of the game with an 18-0 run, including three 3-pointers from Easley. Andre Holloman's 3-pointer shaved the deficit to 20-11, but the visitors' Mike Holloman fueled an 11-0 run with back-to-back baskets.

Mount Olive held as much as a 17-point, first-half lead. Coleman's 3-pointer with a few seconds remaining closed the gap to 49-40 at halftime. Coleman emerged the Saints' top scorer with 24 points.

The Trojans return to action at home today against in-state rival Belmont Abbey, which is 7-2 in league play. Mount Olive leads the series 12-8 since the late 1990s and has won six straight meetings against the Crusaders.

Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.