By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on January 14, 2010 1:46 PM
HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Derek Staton drained 4 of 4 free throws in the final 30.9 seconds, and Mount Olive College slipped past Coker (S.C.) College 84-77 in a Conference Carolinas men's basketball game Wednesday evening.
Kendrick Easley, the reigning league player-of-the-week, led five Trojans in double figures with 23 points. Lamonte Theus and Craig Hayes each recorded double-doubles in the road victory. Theus collected 22 points and a career-best 11 rebounds, while Hayes chipped in 11 points and 12 boards.
Mike Holloman contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.
The teams battled through four ties and seven lead changes during a five-minute span in the second half. Easley drained three free throws and Theus pushed the advantage to 73-59 with a field goal.
However, the Trojans (9-4 overall, 6-0 CC) managed a single field goal over the next five minutes as the Cobras crept back into the contest. Thomas Wright's steal led to Ricardo Smith's layup and after back-to-back turnovers by MOC, Liam Kyle's dunk made it a two-possession game with 1:59 remaining in regulation.
Coker trailed 75-69.
Hayes' offensive putback made it 77-69, but Wright drilled a 3-pointer to keep the Cobras within striking distance. Staton hit two free throws with 30.9 seconds to go and Easley later added a single free throw to make it 80-74.
Coker (5-6, 3-2) lost its next scoring chance on an offensive foul and Staton converted two more free throws to seal the win. Staton ended the night with 10 points, and Mount Olive shot 25 of 32 from the free throw line for the contest.
The Trojans return to action Saturday at Erskine (S.C.) College. It's a rematch of last year's quarterfinal-round game in the Conference Carolinas tournament, which was won by the Flying Fleet.
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