Three-Point Barrage Lifts Mount Olive Past Bluefield State 87-60 At Pickle Classic

Three-Point Barrage Lifts Mount Olive Past Bluefield State 87-60 At Pickle Classic

Jordan McCain led five players in double figures with 19 points, Mike Moore and Kendall Hargrove both recorded double-doubles, and tournament Most Valuable Player Dontrell Brite hit an improbable three-pointer at the end of the first half to break open a close game as regionally third-ranked University of Mount Olive defeated Bluefield State College 87-60 in the 49th Annual Pickle Classic Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans hit nine of their 11 three-pointers in the second half.

Brite was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Hargrove and McCain. Also earning All-Tournament honors were Ryan Canoy (Barton), Mark Durgan (Bluefield State), Tyrece Little (Virginia State), Tyler Peterson (Virginia State) and Danny Shand (Barton).

Mount Olive (5-0) trailed by as many as five points midway through the first half before John Wieland's three-pointer with 9:01 remaining put the Trojans on top 17-15. Mike Moore's putback dunk with 4:44 left capped a 17-2 run and gave Mount Olive its biggest lead of the first half at 29-17.

Bluefield State (1-2) cut the margin to six points with three seconds left as Dajon Reno and Mark Durgan combined for all of the points in a 7-2 mini-run. But Brite gave Mount Olive the final points of the half as his shot from just inside halfcourt rattled high off the rim and glass and dropped through the net to give the Trojans a 36-27 halftime lead.

A pair of dunks by Hargrove in the first two-plus minutes of the second half pushed Mount Olive's lead to double figures for the remainder of the game. Bluefield State used free throws by Durgan to stay within striking range until back-to-back three-pointers by McCain gave the Trojans a 60-41 lead with 10:49 left to play.

Durgan's three-pointer helped Bluefield State climb within 15 but Mount Olive used the three-ball to build the margin to the 20-point mark. Josh Hicks and Tayon Cleaves connected from beyond the arc to extend the Trojans' lead to 74-54 with 4:51 remaining. The final score was Mount Olive's biggest lead of the game.

Brite finished with 12 points and seven assists Saturday after tallying 19 points and six assists in Friday's win over Virginia State.

Moore finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while Hargrove added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Wieland scored 11 points for the Trojans. McCain was 7-for-8 from the field.

Durgan led all scorers with 27 points for Bluefield State. Dajon Reno scored 13 points and Gary Martin added 12 points for the Big Blues.

In the opening game, Virginia State rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit for an 80-78 overtime victory over Barton. Jamison Jeffers stole the ball with three seconds left in overtime and Troy Locke hit the game-winning layup at the buzzer.

Mount Olive resumes Conference Carolinas action Tuesday as the Trojans play host to Limestone. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.