12/01/12 — MOC men fall to Erskine

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MOC men fall to Erskine

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 1, 2012 11:56 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Opposing teams rarely experience victory at Kornegay Arena.

It's like the Bates Motel -- guests check in, but they don't check out.

Erskine College enjoyed its one-day stay this time.

The Flying Fleet held the Trojans to a single field goal during a nine-minute stretch on Saturday afternoon, and prevailed 77-65 on the Conference Carolinas men's basketball scene. Erskine won at MOC for the first time since 2008 when it pulled off a stunning first-round upset in the season-ending conference tournament.

The frustration continued for Mount Olive, which dropped further down the conference ladder at 0-3.

"Bizarre ... never seen anything like this," MOC head coach Joey Higginbotham said.

But even more bizarre was the Trojans' inability to either protect their lead or defend.

Jordan McCain's layup off of Darrell Patterson's assist fueled a first-half run for the Trojans, who finally showed some continuity on offense. Ewon Wright connected on a 3-pointer and Dory Hines converted an offensive putback.

Freshman Mike Moore scored inside to give MOC its biggest advantage, 24-14, with 9:12 to go before halftime.

Erskine (4-1, 2-1 CC) answered in convincing fashion.

Jake Haslam's layup gave the Flying Fleet the lead for good, 26-24. Corey Sorrell, who led all scorers with 23 points, delivered an old-fashioned three-point play to keep the run intact. Erskine scored two more baskets and owned a 33-26 advantage at intermission.

"We're really struggling to score and our defense was not very good," Higginbotham said. "We got some tremendously good looks at the basket (in the first half) and we just did not put the ball in the hole. We're struggling all over and we're letting our offense disrupt our entire game.

"Defensively, we have to be the same team no matter if we score or not."

Mount Olive (1-4) climbed to within 47-40 on McCain's 3-pointer at the 13:19 mark. Mike Gabbard's three-point play and DeShaun Hall's 3-pointer gave Erskine a double-digit lead it wouldn't surrender the rest of the game. Hall finished with a double-double -- 18 points, 10 rebounds. Gabbard added 10 points.

The Flying Fleet, who triumphed for just the seventh time in the series, held the Trojans to 37-percent shooting and won the defensive glass battle, 33-18.

Reserves Kendall Hargrove and Wright emerged Mount Olive's top scorers with 16 and 12 points, respectively. No starter scored in double figures. Dory Hines dished out seven assists.