11/28/12 — Missed free throws doom MOC men

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Missed free throws doom MOC men

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 28, 2012 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive played its best defensive half of the season Tuesday evening.

But the Trojans just couldn't cash in on the offensive end.

Unbeaten King (Tenn.) College knocked down pivotal free throws in the closing minutes of a 73-66 victory on the Conference Carolinas men's basketball scene Tuesday evening at Kornegay Arena.

The Tornado converted a season-best 29 of 31 attempts from the charity stripe, while the Trojans shot an atrocious 11 of 23, including seven misses in the final three-plus minutes of the game.

"That's the ballgame right there," fifth-year MOC head coach Joey Higginbotham said. "We have our best defensive half of basketball, by far, of the season and we go to the free throw line an identical 17 times. We hit six and they hit 16."

Ewon Wright's jumper finished off a second-half run and knotted the score at 55-55 around the eight-minute mark. Jason Seymore's offensive putback, and Eddie Piccinini's steal and layup pushed King back in front, 59-55, less than minute later.

Darrell Patterson's 3-pointer shaved the Tornado's lead to 62-61, but Mount Olive (1-3 overall, 0-2 CC) could get no closer.

After a media timeout, Logan Lyle drew a back-breaking foul on a 3-point attempt and nailed all three free throws. King swished 11 consecutive free throws in the final 2 minutes, 41 seconds of play to remain unbeaten in five outings this season.

Piccinini, the Tornado's top scorer, supplied 15 points, including an 11 of 12 effort from the free throw line. Drew Standifer delivered seven of his 13 points from the free throw line.

"I'm proud of the guys' fight that they had in them," Higginbotham said. "This was a different ballclub than the other night (against North Greenville). We made adjustments, came back and were better.

"We just let one aspect of the game beat us ... free throws."

Mount Olive held King to 20 points below its season average and owned a 39-31 edge in rebounds. The Trojans recorded 16 team assists on 24 field goals and placed four players in double figures, including McCain who scored 18 off the bench.

Dory Hines just missed a triple-double with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Wright contributed 11 points and Patterson chipped in 10.