MOC dominates Queens men
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on January 26, 2012 1:48 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College did not just beat one of the best teams in Conference Carolinas.
The Trojans dominated them.
Mahamed Ibrahim scored a career-high 27 points and Mount Olive rolled to a 82-58 victory at Kornegay Arena. The victory, the fourth consecutive for the Trojans, improved Mount Olive to 12-6 overall and 5-3 in the Eastern Division of Conference Carolinas.
"I think we got a big monkey off our back with a road win at Limestone and it showed tonight," Mount Olive head coach Joey Higginbotham said. "I thought we played loose and we took care of business on our home floor, which you have to do in league play."
The first half was a two-man show for the Trojans.
Ibrahim tied his previous career high with 21 points in the first 20 minutes. The junior from Virginia hit all five of his 3-point attempts. Craig Hayes added 14 points in the paint during the first half.
"I have been working really hard during practice on my jump shot," Ibrahim said. "The last week or two I have shot so much that my arm has been sore, so it was good to see it pay off tonight."
The potency of Ibrahim and Hayes led the Trojans to a stellar shooting percentage from the field as the team shot 57 percent. As hot as Mount Olive was from the floor, Queens was equally as cold. The Royals (12-6 overall, 7-1 CC East) shot just 37 percent in the first half.
"Sometimes you have nights where you are just executing as a team and it all comes together," Higginbotham said. "We have been battling a stomach virus as a team this week with three or four guys sick, but we pulled together."
The second half went slightly better for the Royals as star guard Daniel Bailey got hot from the field and brought the visitors to within 13 points with nine minutes to play. That was as close as Queens would get, however, as Mount Olive embarked on an 8-2 run to put the game away.
Both teams found plenty of time for their reserves over the final five minutes.
Bailey led the Queens attack with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Hayes led the Trojans with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Ibrahim added 27 markers and five boards. No other Mount Olive player reached double figures.
"Those two guys (Hayes and Ibrahim) did a good job of working the ball inside out and took quality shots," Higginbotham said. "We took a lot of three's, but I thought most of those were good looks."
Mount Olive entertains North Greenville on Saturday.