Dontrell Brite scored 19 points for his second career high in as many games and Mount Olive used a 50-point second half to break away from a halftime tie as the Trojans defeated Elizabeth City State 73-67 in non-conference men's basketball Saturday at Wilson, N.C. The contest was part of the second and final day of the 45-Second Classic, hosted by Barton College.
Mike Moore's jumper with 17:42 left to play broke a 27-27 tie and Mount Olive (1-1) led for the remainder of the game. Jordan McCain hit a three-pointer and Dory Hines capped a 16-2 run with a short jumper as the Trojans took their biggest lead at 41-29 with 12:55 remaining.
Despite trailing throughout virtually the entire second half, Elizabeth City State (1-1) stayed within striking range and closed within one possession. DeCarlos Anderson's three-pointer off a Glenn Patterson steal pulled the Vikings within 58-56 with 5:45 left.
McCain, who was 8-for-8 from the line for Mount Olive, hit a pair of free throws with 5:01 left as the Trojans stretched their lead to 61-56. After Patterson answered with a pair of free throws for ECSU, Dominique Reed gave Mount Olive a second chance opportunity on the other end.
Brite's three-point attempt from the top of the key hit off the rim, but Reed grabbed the rebound in the lane, 10 feet from the basket. Reed passed to Brite, who connected on his three-pointer from the top of the key to give the Trojans a 64-58 lead with 4:22 left in the contest.
Defense would take over on both ends as neither team scored a field goal until the final minute. McCain's fastbreak layup off an assist by Brite came in between a pair of Viking three-pointers 19 seconds apart as Elizabeth City State pulled within 68-65 with 38 seconds remaining.
John Wieland sank a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to make it a two-possession game and after an ECSU turnover, McCain added two more free throws with 19 seconds left to extend the Trojans' lead to 72-65 to help seal the win.
In the first half, Mount Olive held Elizabeth City State scoreless for more than five minutes and led 12-3 after Kendall Hargrove's dunk with 12:51 remaining. ECSU didn't reach double digits until Anderson's three-pointer with 6:29 left cut the Trojans' lead to 16-12.
Brite's three-point play gave Mount Olive a 21-13 lead with 4:43 left before halftime. But the Trojans would manage only one field goal the rest of the half and Elizabeth City State climbed back to tie the game 23-23 at the break.
Saturday's contest marked the second time in as many games the Trojans were tied at halftime. Mount Olive fell to Shaw 81-79 Friday after a 38-38 halftime tie. Brite scored 17 points in Friday's contest.
McCain finished with 15 points off the bench, while Hargrove added 10 points. Reed pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds as Mount Olive outrebounded Elizabeth City State 46-33. The Trojans blocked eight ECSU shots, led by McCain, Reed and Mike Moore with two blocks apiece.
Mount Olive was able to hold on for the win despite being whistled for 30 fouls and having four players foul out: Hargrove, Moore, Reed and Kyle Rhoades. The Trojans were 23-for-31 from the free throw line, including 9-for-10 in the final five minutes of the game.
Patterson led all scorers with 22 points for Elizabeth City State.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Wingate, N.C., to take on Wingate in a non-conference match-up. The game is a reunion for Trojan assistant coach Montel Jones, who spent the past three years as an assistant at Wingate before joining his alma mater's staff this year. Tip-off is 7 p.m.