11/17/09 — MOC drops opener to Lenoir-Rhyne

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MOC drops opener to Lenoir-Rhyne

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on November 17, 2009 1:47 PM

HICKORY -- Preseason All-American candidate Kendrick Easley pumped in 19 points as Mount Olive College opened its men's basketball season with a 74-69 loss to Lenoir-Rhyne University on Monday evening.

Mike Holloman collected 18 points and eight rebounds. Craig Hayes (seven rebounds) and Derek Staton posted eight points apiece. Derek Staton dished out a game-high six assists.

Easley's 3-pointer pulled the Trojans within 67-64 with 88 seconds left in regulation. After the Bears' Marcus Hodges canned two free throws, Hayes answered with a layup with 44 seconds left on the clock.

Hodges drained another free throw before Easley drew a foul on a three-point attempt. The senior guard dropped in all three free throws to make it 70-69 with 19 seconds to go.

Hodges added two free throws in the closing seconds and the Trojans missed a 3-point attempt to possibly force overtime. LRU outscored Mount Olive 20-8 at the free throw line.

It was the Bears' third win over the Trojans in four meetings since 2007.

MOC returns to action Friday in the 44th annual Pickle Classic. The Trojans entertain South Atlantic member Mars Hill, while former Division II national champions Barton and Virginia Union meet in the other game.

The two-day event continues Saturday with the annual MOC Athletics Hall of Fame Induction.