12/31/09 — MOC suffers road defeat

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MOC suffers road defeat

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on December 31, 2009 1:47 PM

MOC Sports Information

AUGUSTA, GA. -- Playing without two starters, Mount Olive fell to undefeated and nationally third-ranked Augusta State 86-61 in non-conference men's basketball Wednesday at Augusta, Ga. Brandon Allen came off the bench to lead four Trojans in double figures with 17 points.

Mount Olive (5-4) played without starting senior guards Kendrick Easley and Mike Holloman, both of whom were out due to injuries. Both players' status is day-to-day.

The Trojans were down by 23 points midway through the second half when Allen and Justin Foskey combined for all the points in an 11-4 run in which Mount Olive scored on four consecutive possessions. Allen connected on back-to-back three-pointers and Foskey followed with a three. Offensive rebounds by Derek Staton and Foskey kept the next possession alive and Foskey's 15-foot jumper pulled Mount Olive within 67-51 with 8:07 left in the game.

But Augusta State (10-0) used the deep ball on its next two possessions to halt the Trojans' rally. Daniel Dixon hit a pair of three-pointers, the second from 24 feet out, to again push the lead past the 20-point margin with 6:57 remaining. Mount Olive never got any closer than 17 points the rest of the way as Augusta State outscored the Trojans 9-1 over the final three minutes of the contest.

Despite playing without two starting guards and being at a size disadvantage, Mount Olive stayed with Augusta State in the early going. Three-pointers by Foskey and Craig Hayes helped the Trojans battle the Jaguars to a 10-10 tie eight minutes into the game.

Augusta State broke the tie on Greg Mire's layup and the Jaguars led the remainder of the game. Augusta State took its first double digit lead at 27-17 with 4:52 remaining in the half and led 41-23 at halftime.

Four Mount Olive players had three fouls apiece in the first half. Augusta State was 17-for-25 from the free throw line in the first half, compared to 1-for-2 for the Trojans. Mount Olive was 7-for-8 from the line in the second half, while Augusta State was 9-for-10.

Hayes finished with 15 points for Mount Olive, while Foskey and Staton added 13 points apiece. The four players combined for 58 of the Trojans' 61 points. Staton also dished out a game-high seven assists and pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Bright spots for the Trojans included the return of two players. Allen, who was 7-for-13 from the field, missed both games at Armstrong Atlantic State's tournament two weeks ago due to illness. Kason Cheeks made his first appearance of the season after dealing with health issues during the summer. Cheeks was held scoreless, but played 18 minutes and pulled down three rebounds.

Fred Brathwaite led five Augusta State players in double figures with a game-high 18 points. Brathwaite scored eight of his points on alley-oop slam dunks, including an off-balanced one-handed dunk early in the first half. Brathwaite was one of three Jaguar players with at least eight rebounds as Augusta State outrebounded Mount Olive 53-26.

Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas action Monday and begins a three-game homestand as the Trojans play host to Belmont Abbey. Mount Olive, which will play the three home games in a span of six days, has not had a home contest since hosting the 44th Annual Pickle Classic November 20-21. The Trojans have played their last five games on the road. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.