North Greenville upends Trojans
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 20, 2012 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College head men's basketball coach Joey Higginbotham opened the final stat sheet and scratched his head.
The Trojans claimed nearly every offensive category against North Greenville (S.C.) University on Monday evening. But the field-goal percentage stuck out like a sore thumb, not to mention the final score.
The Crusaders' Chris Dean and Ty Patterson shared game-high scoring honors with 23 points apiece in an 85-80 triumph at Kornegay Arena. North Greenville (3-1 overall) spoiled Mount Olive's Conference Carolinas opener, and the Trojans suffered their second defeat in a four-day span.
"You get 29 offensive rebounds in one game, you get 91 shots and we turn them over 21 times ... we got every offensive statistic (advantage) you can imagine except for making shots, but we didn't get (defensive) stops," Higginbotham said.
"We're not a very good defensive team right now. Until we get a defensive mentality, we're going to struggle. We've preached it from day one."
North Greenville shot 48 percent from the floor and constantly attacked the basket against MOC, which struggled to rotate on defense and yielded too many layups. The Crusaders converted 20 of 28 free throws compared to the Trojans, who attempted 16 charity shots with most of those occurring after the overall outcome had nearly been decided.
Deshaune Green paced five MOC players in double figures and just missed a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds. Slashing guard Dory Hines flirted with a triple-double -- 12 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists.
Mahamed Ibrahim tallied 13 points, while Jordan McCain provided 12 points and eight boards. Darrell Patterson contributed 11 points.
The teams battled through 10 ties and nine lead changes on the night.
McCain's 3-pointer gave MOC its final lead, 61-60, around the 10-minute mark. Patterson's back-door layup with the shot clock running down pushed North Greenville back in front, 63-61.
The Trojans stayed within striking distance until Jimmy Ellis and Keith Johnson each swished a 3-pointer. Johnson's shot came off an offensive rebound. Dean's transition basket boosted the Crusaders' advantage to 80-70 with just over three minutes left in regulation.
McCain's offensive putback closed the gap to 83-77, but MOC couldn't get any closer.
"They're a good ballclub, they can really score and we knew that coming in," Higginbotham said. "When you're constantly giving up layups when guys aren't rotating ... that's just defense, heart, talking, working and toughness. We're not a very a tough ballclub right now.
"Everybody in the program has to have a gut-check and heart-check to become defensive minded. That's the bottom line. But, by God, we're going to get it."
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