Trojans Open 2019-2020 Season with an 88-82 Win Over No. 11 Augusta; Higginbotham Collects Career Coaching Win No. 200

Photo by James Benson
Photo by James Benson

WILSON, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive men's basketball team opened the 2019-2020 season with a neutral road win against the No. 11 Jaguars of Augusta University 88-82 on day one of the Barton College 45 Second Classic on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Wilson Gymnasium in Wilson, NC. Senior Cameron Robinson collected a career-high 27 points and head coach Joey Higginbotham earned his 200th career coaching win.

The contest between UMO and Augusta was the first of the season for both teams of the 2019-2020 slate. The win for Mount Olive is the first time since the 2015-16 season that UMO has won its season opener. That was the same season that UMO last beat Augusta, Nov. 29, 2015, UMO won 87-83.

Augusta got on the scoreboard first with a jumper in the paint but Johnny Hughes III connected on a long three-pointer to get UMO on the board. The teams went back and forth trading baskets with Augusta holding the leading until the 3:30 mark when a three-pointer by Cameron Robinson gave the Trojans a one-point lead, 32-31. Augusta tied it 32 all on a free throw but UMO quickly pulled ahead by seven points from Robinson to lead 39-32 following a made layup, three-pointer off of a Darius Spragley steal, and a pair of free throws by Robinson. The Jaguars put up two more points before halftime as UMO led 39-34 at the horn.

The teams remained neck and neck throughout the second half with neither team opening up more than a four-point lead, except for once when UMO led 62-55 following three layups and a Johnny Hughes III free throw at the 10:17 mark. Augusta cut the UMO lead and tied the game up at 64 all, again creating a back and forth game. Mount Olive did not pull away until Alan Treakle made a layup with 1:28 on the clock that gave the Trojans a four-point lead and forced the Jags to start fouling to save time. UMO converted all eight of their free-throws that came in the last 37 seconds of the game to win 88-82. 

The Trojans were led by Cameron Robinson's 27 points that came off of a night where he shot 7-12 from the field, 6-8 from beyond the three-point arc, and 7-8 from the free-throw line. Johnny Hughes III was the second-leading scorer for the Trojans with 17 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Hughes also added two blocks and a team-high five steals for UMO. 

Alan Treakle and Jonathan Mebane each scored in double figures with 13 and 11 points respectively. Treakle was a perfect 8-8 from the free-throw line. Michael Brown led UMO with four assists in the contest. 

The Jaguars were led by Rafael Monteiro with 24 points. Troy Cracknell (16), Tyree Myers (10), and Tyshaun Crawford (10) all tallied double-digits in the game. Monteiro led the Jags with 11 rebounds and two assists. Myers had a game-high nine assists.

The key moment of the game came in the final 90 seconds of the contest when the Trojans opened up a four-point, 80-76 lead over the Jaguars. Augusta started to foul Mount Olive to stop the clock, but the Trojans' free-throw game was hot as they hit all eight of their free-throws that came in the last 37 seconds. 

"The guys played really hard and stayed together. That's a heck of a team we played and we knew they were going to be a tough out. Proud of our toughness as a group!"

Mount Olive is back in action for day two of the 45 Second Classic at 11 AM on Saturday, Nov. 9, when they take on Columbus State.