MOUNT OLIVE — The University of Mount Olive men’s basketball team claimed their second straight Conference Carolinas win as the Trojans defeated the Warriors of Southern Wesleyan University, 86-79, on Saturday evening at Kornegay Arena in Mount Olive.
Redshirt senior Jamaal Matin led the Trojans with 24 points. Matin was honored prior to the game with his 1,000-point game ball.
Mount Olive started the game off hot as they knocked down back-to-back three-pointers from Darius Spragley and Cameron Robinson following the initial layup from Matin to lead 8-2 until the 16:40-minute mark.
Southern Wesleyan climbed within a point, 11-10, following an 8-3 run of their own that caused UMO to call a timeout.
The Warriors kept pace with the Trojans, following a pair of free throws, but UMO took off on a run that put the home team ahead 13 points, 29-16, following a 16-4 rally by Mount Olive.
UMO’s lead evaporated over the next six minutes as the Warriors trailed by five points, 39-34, as the clock approached the three-minute mark.
A Don Pigford layup and a Spragley three put the Trojans back up by 10 points, a spread which Mount Olive held heading into halftime as the score sat at 48-37.
UMO held on to their 11-point, 55-44, lead until the 16-minute mark when the Warriors began chipping away at the Trojan lead during an 11-4 run over four minutes that put the score at 59-55.
Mount Olive reclaimed a 10-point lead that they held until the 3:20-minute mark when SWU scored six in a row to close the gap to four points, 80-76, with less than two to play.
SWU completed a three-point play following a layup and free throw that had the Warriors trailing by three, 82-79, with 32 seconds to go, but UMO made four out of six free throws to hold on to the lead and win 86-79.
Four Trojans recorded double-digits in points with Matin leading the way with 24.
Spragley, Robinson and Alan Treakle joined Matin with 19, 13, and 12 points respectively.
Mount Olive heads to Belmont for a midweek Conference Carolinas matchup against Belmont Abbey. The Trojans and Crusaders will square off around 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the women’s game.