Trojans Fall To Lees-McRae 80-77 In Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Opener

Trojans Fall To Lees-McRae 80-77 In Conference Carolinas Men's Basketball Opener

University of Mount Olive erased an 11-point halftime deficit and built a late six-point lead, but Lees-McRae College hit three three-pointers in a game-ending 13-4 run to hand the Trojans an 80-77 loss in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Tuesday at Banner Elk, N.C. Dominique Reed scored a game-high 21 points to go with nine rebounds, Mike Moore posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and John Wieland scored all of his 16 points in the second half. The game was the conference opener for both teams.

Mount Olive (2-4 overall, 0-1 Conference Carolinas) appeared on its way to a comeback win when Reed drew a foul while muscling in a layup and completed the three-point play to give the Trojans a 69-67 lead with 3:49 left to play. Jamaal Matin followed with a reverse layup and offensive rebounds by Dontrell Brite and Wieland set up Reed with a putback to extend the Trojans' lead to 73-67 with 2:30 remaining.

Lees-McRae (2-5, 1-0) cut the lead in half when Austin Anderson hit an off-balance three-pointer from the right wing and the Bobcats tied the game on Kendall Isler's open three from the right corner with 1:29 left. After a Reed free throw gave Mount Olive a 74-73, Anderson hit a three from the top of the key to put the Bobcats back on top with 57 seconds remaining.

Mount Olive regained the lead with 46 seconds left when Wieland was fouled on a three-point attempt from the right wing. Wieland's first free throw attempt hit high off the back of the rim and went through the net and his second attempts rolled around the rim before going through. His third attempt was all net and gave the Trojans a 77-76 lead.

After scoring its previous nine points from beyond the arc, Lees-McRae went inside the paint and Cameron Redd hit a seven-foot jumper with 33 seconds left to put the Bobcats back on top 78-77. Mount Olive had a layup attempt, but the ball got stuck in the rim and the possession arrow gave the ball to Lees-McRae with 6.7 seconds left. Jonathan Honore sank a pair of free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining and a Trojan three-point attempt at the buzzer came up short.

In the first half, Reed's short jumper with 13:17 left broke a 9-9 tie. Lees-McRae regained the lead on Zach Wilmoth's three-pointer and the Bobcats led the remainder of the half. After another basket by Reed pulled the Trojans within 16-15, Lees-McRae scored the next eight points and a three-pointer by Isler with 5:34 remaining gave the Bobcats their first double-digit lead at 27-17.

Mount Olive got as close as seven points on Mike Moore's jumper with 2:32 remaining, but the Trojans went scoreless the rest of the half and trailed 36-25 at halftime. Lees-McRae outscored Mount Olive 18-0 from three-point range in the first half.

After the Trojans went 0-for-7 from beyond the arc in the first half, Moore and Wieland knocked down three-pointers in the first 27 seconds of the second half to cut the margin to five. Lees-McRae built the lead back up to as many as nine, but Mount Olive rallied to tie the game 51-51 with 11:43 left after three-pointers by Moore and Wieland. Brite followed with a three-point play with 11:16 left to give the Trojans their first lead since midway through the first half.

Moore (8-for-12), Reed (8-for-10) and Wieland (5-for-10) combined to shoot 65.6 percent from the field for the game, including a combined 13-for-22 in the second half. The Trojans shot 50.0 percent from the field as a team in the second half and 44.6 percent for the game. Mount Olive hit 6-of-14 three-point attempts in the second half. Brite fought off first-half foul trouble to dish out a game-high six assists.

Anderson led Lees-McRae with 19 points and five assists. He was 4-of-6 from three-point range as the Bobcats hit 14-of-30 attempts from beyond the three-point line.

The loss extended Mount Olive's current losing skid to four and snapped the Trojans' 17-game winning streak against Lees-McRae. The Trojans' last defeat at the hands of the Bobcats was November 27, 2006. Mount Olive has a 33-2 record against Lees-McRae dating back to 2000.

Mount Olive returns to action Sunday as the Trojans travel to Augusta, Ga., to take on Augusta University in a rematch of the opening round of last year's NCAA Division II Southeast Regional. The Trojans won 84-75 on their way to the regional title and a berth in the Elite Eight. The Trojans also defeated the Jaguars 82-75 in last year's regular season contest at Kornegay Arena. Tip-off is 4 p.m.