01/19/12 — MOC men handle St. Andrews

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MOC men handle St. Andrews

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 19, 2012 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College made it two wins in a row on the basketball court with a 97-83 win over St. Andrews on Wednesday night at Kornegay Arena.

The victory evened the Trojans' record within Conference Carolinas at 3-3. Mount Olive improved to 10-6 overall.

"This was a good win for us because it was one of those games where each guy that got on the floor helped us in some way," Mount Olive head coach Joey Higginbotham said. "No single player had a huge night, but five or six guys each had really good nights and that is how you score 97 points."

The Knights played the Trojans close to even trough the opening minutes as the teams traded the lead until a basket by Craig Hayes put the Trojans ahead 27-25. Mount Olive increased the lead to 47-34 at the half.

Hayes was the most prolific Trojan in the first half as he put in 12 points and grabbed six rebounds. Mount Olive held a 16-11 rebounding edge at the intermission.

Mount Olive pulled away after the break as the Trojans hit open jumpers and found their collective rhythm on the offensive end. The largest Mount Olive lead came with four minutes to play when the Trojans held an 18-point advantage.

Five different Trojans scored in double figures, led by Hayes 18-point outing. Mahamed Ibrahim and Kason Cheeks each finished with 16 points. Dory Hines just missed his first career triple-double with six points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

"Dory is such an unselfish player and he was instrumental in our offense all game," Higginbotham said. "He and Derek Staton both played really well and found our big guys when they were open."

Ryan Streater led the Knights with 23 points. Ross Williams added 17 points.

St. Andrews was dismissed from Conference Carolinas earlier this year, but because the schedules for the 2011-12 school year were already made the Knights' contests this season are still considered conference games.

The Knights are not eligible for the conference tournament or any postseason awards. St. Andrew's will move to NAIA competition next year.