UMO men take down Limestone in overtime
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on January 4, 2014 11:13 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mike Moore didn't just help Mount Olive win an important Conference Carolinas game on Saturday afternoon.
He helped the Trojans make history.
Moore's 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play in overtime put Mount Olive ahead for good in a 76-74 victory over Limestone at Kornegay Arena. The victory was the 100th in the career of head coach Joey Higginbotham.
"It's just a number," Higginbotham said. "It's not me. It's the guys in the locker room and the guys over the last give years. They're the reason I'm where I'm at and I don't do it for me. I'm ready to go and try to get number 101 now."
P.J. Foster's 3-pointer put the Saints ahead 74-72 with 64 seconds left in the extra session.
Moore, a James Kenan alum, answered with his go-ahead 3-pointer 19 seconds later. After missing the first of two free throws, Moore calmly sank the second shot with 26 seconds left. He finsihed with a career-high 19 points.
Jordan McCain added 20 points and Dominique Reed contributed 13 points.
"I was just trying to find an open spot on the floor and I was hoping Dominique would kick it back out," Moore said. "I just tried to spot up and hit the 3. Having hit some early in the game helps me have some confidence. I knew I had to hit the second the second (free throw) and give my team a chance to win."
Limestone had one final possession but Foster's 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out. Foster, the national Division II leader in 3-pointers made, and Josh Odem both scored 23 points.
"(Foster is really good)," Higginbotham said. "He's made them all year. I still thought that shot at the end was going down. He's tough. We wanted to make him shoot tough shots."
Limestone (9-4, 1-2 CC) grabbed the momentum before intermission. The Saints closed the half on a 24-7 run and led 37-30 at the half. Odem led Limestone with 17 first-half points and Foster added 14.
The Trojans began getting to the paint and to the free throw line in the second half.
"I thought in the first half we kind of settled for quick jump shots," Higginbotham said. "In the second half we played inside out. We started posting up Dory (Hines) and some other guys and that's the way we need to play is inside out."
The Trojans (8-4, 2-0) led by as many as five points in the second half but Limestone refused to go away. Foster's 3-pointer trimmed the margin to 59-57 before Jamal McNeil's layup tied the game with 2:17 to play.
McCain's layup briefly put Mount Olive in front 61-59 but the Trojans' were whistled for their second delay-of-game infraction following the basket. Mount Olive was given a technical foul and Foster's free throws tied the game at 61-61.
Odem knocked down a pair of free throws with 90 seconds left that gave Limestone a 63-61 advantage.
The Trojans' Dominique Reed made one of two free throws that allowed Mount Olive to close to within 63-62 with 69 seconds left. Hines also hit one of two free throws with 20 seconds remaining to tie the game at 63-63.
The Trojans play host to King on Wednesday.
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