February 2, 2013

Strong first half lifts Trojans over Bobcats, 95-64

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- The Mount Olive College men's basketball team placed four players in double figures, and outscored Lees-McRae College by a 57-34 margin in the first half en route to a 95-64 victory in Conference Carolinas on Saturday evening.

Mount Olive (11-9, 8-6 CC) posted a field goal percentage of 54.2 percent on the night, including a blistering 60.6 percent clip in the first half, while holding Lees-McRae (2-18, 2-12 CC) to a 33.3 percent mark from the floor in the contest. The Bobcats edged the Trojans by a 37-36 margin on the glass, including a 16-12 advantage on the offensive boards, as Mount Olive converted 25 Lees-McRae miscues into 31 points.

Asad Lamot (Mebane, N.C.) led the way for Lees-McRae with a game-high 15 points, connecting on 6-of-11 attempts from the floor, as Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) added 14 markers and a game-high seven rebounds. DJ Brown (Anderson, S.C.) chipped in 10 points and six boards for the Bobcats.

Mahamed Ibrahim, Deshaune Green, Darrell Patterson, and John Wieland each tallied 13 points to pace the Trojans, as Dory Hines dished out a game-high 10 assists. Caleb Henderson and Kendall Hargrove each chipped in eight markers, while Ewon Wright posted seven points and Hines pulled down a team-high five boards.

Mount Olive jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the contest, capping the opening run with an Ibrahim layup before pushing the advantage to 26-9 following a Hargrove dunk, and a Green jumper with 11:12 left in the first half.

After the Bobcats answered with a three-point play by Sepokas and a pair of freebies from Will Lopez (Sydney, Australia), Mount Olive quickly countered with an 11-2 spurt, stretching the lead to 40-16 with 6:06 to play in the period.

The Bobcats battled hard over the next several minutes, cutting the advantage to 57-34 heading into the intermission following a last-second triple by Chad Eppley (Boone, N.C.) and a buzzer-beating layup by Brown.

Mount Olive responded in the second half, opening the period with a 21-12 run to widen the margin to 78-46 with 11:05 to play. Lees-McRae counter with a 14-3 spurt over the next eight minutes, cutting the lead to 81-60 on a Sepokas triple at the 3:15 mark to cap a strong period of play for the Bobcats.

The Trojans would regain the momentum with a 14-4 run over the final three minutes of play, quelling the rally and closing out the 95-64 win on a pair of late free throws from Henderson.

Lees-McRae returns to the court on Wednesday when the Bobcats welcome King College to Williams Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. for a Conference Carolinas matchup. The Bobcats will host Church Night that evening, and encourage all members of the community to attend. All fans who present a church bulletin at the gate will receive free admission for the evening, and are encouraged to remain in the gym following the contest for Lees-McRae's Worship on Wednesday.

- LMC -