12/05/10 — Injury-riddled Trojans can't overcome Saints

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Injury-riddled Trojans can't overcome Saints

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on December 5, 2010 1:51 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- With only eight players dressed due to injury, Mount Olive head coach Joey Higginbotham knew that his team would be in for a stiff test against Conference Carolinas rival Limestone college on Saturday night.

The Saints proved to be too much to handle.

Limestone fed the post and controlled the boards in a 65-60 win at Kornegay Arena. Only having eight players, and one true forward clearly hurt the Trojans on both ends of the floor.

"We aren't going to use that as any kind of excuse," Higginbotham said. "This was a game we could have won if we executed properly on the offensive end and rotated better on defense."

The opening minutes were dominated by the home team as Limestone struggled to find any offensive rhythm. Mount Olive jumped out to a 12-1 advantage during the first three minutes of the game behind six points from Derek Staton.

The Saints answered with a steady dose of points in the paint as forwards Jarell Douglass and Danny Friend powered past the undersized Mount Olive lineup. The Saints cut the lead to four at the intermission and proceeded to match Mount Olive baskets early in the second half.

Limestone took its first lead four minutes into the second half when Douglass sank a putback to make the score 42-41 in the visitors' favor.

Mount Olive answered with six quick points on a jumper by Staton, a layup from Dorey Hines and an Ewon Wright jumper. The momentum did not last however as the Saints battled back. Ryan Bogdan buried a three-pointer and Douglass found the mark on back-to-back possessions to put the visitors in front for good with five minutes to play.

"I think we did a lot of standing around tonight, waiting for Staton to make a shot," Higginbotham said. "We had the tempo in our favor, but it doesn't matter if we're stagnant on offense."

Staton paced the Trojans with a career-high 28 points. Brandon Allen emerged as the only other Mount Olive player in double figures with 10 points.

Douglass led the Saints with 22 points and nine rebounds. Friend added nine points, seven rebounds and five blocks.

Mount Olive (4-1) enjoys a week off before traveling to St. Augustine's on Dec.11.