12/19/09 — Hickson FTs sink MOC men on road

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Hickson FTs sink MOC men on road

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 19, 2009 11:08 PM

MOC Sports Information

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Brandon Hickson drained two free throws in the final 17 seconds, and St. Augustine's defeated in-state rival Mount Olive on day two of the Hampton Inn and Suites Fall Finals Classic at Armstrong Atlantic State University.

The Trojans (5-3 overall) squandered a nine-point, first-half advantage and suffered their second loss in their last three outings. They conclude a six-game road swing Dec. 30 at Augusta State, which has reached the last two NCAA Division II Final Fours.

Held scoreless the first 11 minutes, preseason All-American Kendrick Easley pumped in a game-high 21 points. Lamonte Theus contributed 13 points. Craig Hayes and Mike Holloman (two blocked shots) knocked down 11 points apiece, while point guard Derek Staton passed out five assists.

Easley and Hayes combined for 12 rebounds.

St. Augustine's (8-1) tied the game at 51-51 with 8:48 left in regulation. Mount Olive answered with Staton's free throw and Easley's three-point play.

Chris Jordan gave St. Augustine's its first lead, 62-61, on a 3-pointer with 2:51 left to go. The teams traded leads until Theus drained a game-tying layup to make it 64-64.

Mike Holloman supplied two game-tying free throws with 1:12 remaining. St. Aug's missed a 3-point attempt, but Steven Brignol grabbed the offensive rebound to keep the possession alive, which eventually led to Hickson's game-clinching free throws.

Hickson added a single free throw with five seconds to go. Staton's halfcourt shot missed its mark as time expired.

Less than 24 hours earlier, Craig Hayes recorded a double-double -- 18 points, 14 rebounds -- in a 75-67 victory over tournament host AASU. Easley and Holloman ended up with 17 points apiece, and combined to shoot 10 of 13 from the free throw line.

Staton knocked down 10 points, while Theus dished out five assists and picked AASU for five steals.