Mount Olive rallied from a 13-point deficit to take the lead in the second half, but GRU Augusta rallied for a 70-65 victory over the Trojans in non-conference men's basketball Sunday at Augusta, Ga. Dontrell Brite led the Trojans with 15 points, while Dory Hines added 13 points and Dominique Reed finished with 11 points.
Mount Olive (7-4) trailed 33-20 late in the first half before Mike Moore's tip-in just before the buzzer pulled the Trojans within 33-22 at halftime. Mount Olive got as close as six points before Ryan Weems hit a three-pointer for GRU Augusta (9-2) to extend the Jaguars' lead to 51-42 with 11:27 left to play. The Trojans then held GRU scoreless over the next three minutes to take their first lead since midway through the first half.
Brite hit a jumper on Mount Olive's ensuing possession and then added a pair of free throws. Ewon Wright followed with a three-pointer and Reed's putback tied the game. After the Jaguars missed a pair of free throws, Brite hit a jumper with 8:06 remaining to complete an 11-0 run and put the Trojans on top 53-51.
GRU pulled within one with a free throw and Weems went 2-for-2 on each of two trips to the line to give the Jaguars a 56-53 lead with 6:16 left. Hines hit a layup for Mount Olive to make it a one-point game, but KJ Sherrill answered with a jumper for GRU's first field goal in nearly seven minutes and the Jaguars led the rest of the way.
After GRU built the lead to as many as five, Brite's layup with 1:15 remaining pulled Mount Olive within 65-63. An offensive rebound near midcourt kept a Jaguars possession alive and Weems capitalized with a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession margin for the remainder of the contest.
Moore narrowly missed a double-double for Mount Olive with nine points and a game-high eight rebounds. Hines, Reed and Kendall Hargrove each pulled down seven boards as the trio, along with Moore, combined for 29 of the Trojans' 32 rebounds. Hines was credited with three assists to bring his school record career total to 531. Hines became the Trojans' all-time assists leader in Thursday's win over UNC Pembroke.
GRU Augusta, formerly Augusta State, was led by Weems with a game-high 22 points, going 11-for-15 from the line. Ronnell Crockett scored 15 points, while Devon Wright-Nelson added 13 points and shared game-high honors with eight rebounds.
Along with being Mount Olive's final non-conference game of the season and final game of 2013, Sunday's contest marked the Trojans' final athletics event as Mount Olive College. The school will change its name to University of Mount Olive effective January 1.
Mount Olive returns to action January 4 as the Trojans play host to Limestone in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 4 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.