Mount Olive Falls 99-84 In Annual Battle of the Trojans against Virginia State

UMO vs VSU in the 54th Annual Pickle Classic. (Photo by James Benson.)
UMO vs VSU in the 54th Annual Pickle Classic. (Photo by James Benson.)

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive men's basketball team dropped their home opener to the Trojans of Virginia State University 99-84 in the annual battle of the Trojans. UMO fell to 2-1 on the season while VSU improved to 3-1 heading into day two of the 54th Annual Mount Olive Pickle Classic.

The contest concluded day one of action in the 54th Annual Mount Olive Pickle Classic. Senior Cameron Robinson collected his 1,000th career point in the first half of action. 

UMO got on the scoreboard first with back-to-back three-pointers from Cameron Robinson. Mount Olive opened up a 10-2 lead at the 17:14 mark but the VSU Trojans chipped away at the score and knotted the game at 12 all four minutes later. Virginia State took the lead 18-15 on back to back three-pointers from Halil Parks that started a 12-4 run over the next five minutes of play. A pair of threes from Jonathan Mebane gave the Trojans 25-24 lead but VSU stuck with UMO to knot the score at 28 all by the 6:22 mark. The score tied four more times, last at 38 all, before Virginia State went on a 10-0 run to lead 48-38 at the halftime horn. 

VSU opened the second half with five quick points opening up a 13-point lead, 53-40, over UMO. Mount Olive cut down the Trojans lead to six points, 57-51 (16:13), following an 11-4 run. Two-minutes later VSU's lead was back out to ten-points, 67-57, and stayed that way until the 8:20 mark when a basket by Virginia State's Jarron Santos spurred an 8-0 run that saw the UMO Trojans trail 86-69 at the 6:21 mark. Three baskets by Johnny Hughes III and an Alan Treakle free throw pulled Mount Olive back within ten 86-76, but the basket went cold for UMO in the final four minutes of play. Virginia State went on a 13-8 to close out the game and win 99-84 in game two of the 54th Annual Mount Olive Pickle Classic.

The Trojans were led by Cameron Robinson with 21 points. Johnny Hughes III tallied 18 points and a game-high 15 rebounds, and Jonathan Mebane added 14 points to complete the double-figure night for UMO. 

The VSU Trojans were led by Antwan Miles with 20 points in the contest. Halil Parks scored 19 hitting all six of his shots including going five-of-five from beyond the three-point arc. Andrew Corum (17), Armond Griebe (14), and Francis Fitzgerald (11) also joined in on the double-digit scoring. Corum and Griebe each tallied eight rebounds to lead the Trojans.

The key moment of the game came in an eight-minute window of the second half, from the 14-minute window to the six-minute time frame, when VSU opened up a 17-point lead over the UMO Trojans that was ultimately too large for Mount Olive to overcome.

Mount Olive returns tomorrow evening for game two of the 54th Annual Mount Olive Pickle Classic when they will face the Mountain Lions of Concord University. First tip will be 7 PM or 25 minutes following the Barton - Virginia State game that starts at 5 PM.