MOC men knock off Coker
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on February 14, 2013 1:47 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- A tale of two halves.
That was the story at Mount Olive College as the Trojans defeated Coker College 86-66 at Kornegay Arena on Wednesday evening.
The win moved Mount Olive ahead of Coker in the Conference Carolinas standings.
"The nice thing for us is that everything is in front of us," Mount Olive head coach Joey Higginbotham said. "Five out of our last six games are against the teams ahead of us in the standings. Tonight was a big win."
The game started slowly for both teams as the offense struggled. Turnovers and fouls led to disjointed and sloppy play on each end of the floor.
Jordan McCain made the Trojans' first 3-point basket of the night at the 11-minute mark of the first half and tied the game at 12-12. Mount Olive seized the lead with an 11-2 run after McCain's basket as Coker's lack of a proficient point guard became apparent.
The Cobras turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions.
Mount Olive (12-9 overall, 9-6 CC) carried a 33-28 advantage into the halftime break.
"I was pleased with our defense early because I felt like we took a good halfcourt team out of their game," Higginbotham said. "We ran them off their spots and we forced them to take tough shots."
The offense picked up in the second half.
Mount Olive's lead bounced between four and eight points early in the half. Mahamed Ibrahim pushed the Trojans ahead 54-44 with 11 minutes to play when he finished a fast break with a layup off a feed from Dontrell Brite.
McCain gave the Trojans their largest lead of the night, 71-55, on back-to-back 3-pointers with six minutes left in the game. Coker never challenged from that point as Higginbotham found minutes for his reserves down the stretch.
McCain led Mount Olive with 20 points. Darrell Patterson added 18 points and Ibrahim finished with 16.
"Jordan has been in a little bit of a shooting slump lately, but tonight he came out of it," Higginbotham said. "We had some guys step up at key moments ... guys like Ewon Wright and Dory Hines played solid games for us."
Mount Olive travels to King (Tenn.) College on Saturday.
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