Trojans Victorious On Hughes III Buzzer-Beater 77-75 Over Francis Marion On Education Day

Photo by James Benson
Photo by James Benson

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive men's basketball team won a buzzer-beater against the Patriots of Francis Marion University in Kornegay Arena on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference men's basketball action as part of Education Day at Mount Olive. UMO improves to 7-5 on the season, while Francis Marion falls to 1-5. 

The game saw UMO lose it's second straight game in which it had a double-digit lead and Francis Marion was able to tie the game with six seconds left, however, a tip-in shot by Johnny Hughes III gave the Trojans the heroic win on Education Day in front of hundreds of local middle school students.

The first bucket of the game sparked an energetic crowd of middle-school-aged students inside Kornegay Arena as Jonathan Mebane drained a three-pointer to give Mount Olive the first lead. After a made free-throw from Francis Marion, the Trojans managed a short run of 10 unanswered points to jump out to a 16-5 advantage with under 14:20 to play. The Trojans kept the ten-point lead for most of the first half increasing it to as high as 14 before FMU ended the half with the last four points to take a 34-28 deficit into the break

In the second half, Mount olive continued to hold onto their lead despite the decreasing margin as the Patriots continued to chip away as the Trojans lead hovered around the 5-to-8 point cushion mark. Midway through the half Cameron Robinson started a run for the Trojans to help bring a bit more separation. The run lasted almost three and a half minutes and saw the home Trojans push out a 16-to-4 scoring display to take a 71-57 lead with 5:26 remaining. The script flipped for the Trojans as FMu found a run of their own with 3:48 left in the game. A series of eight straight points cut the lead in half with only 2:30 left in the game and with just one free-throw made by the Trojans another run was in the making. The Patriots took six unanswered points from Mount Olive in the final 2:11 before Alan Treakle stopped the run with 14 seconds left to give UMO a 75-73 lead. Francis Marion did, however, find the response with six seconds left and tied the game and called a timeout. 

Out of the FMU timeout, Mount Olive pushed the ball upcourt and after two missed shots with seconds expiring Johnny Hughes III tipped the ball back in and found the bottom of the net for the game-winner and gave Mount Olive the 77-75 win. 

The Trojans were led by Darius Spragley with 16 points. Leland Richardson and Alan Treakle also added double-digit points with 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Patriots had three athletes in double figures but were led by Winston Hill with a team-high 26 points.

The key moments of the game came from Johnny Hughes III's last-second buzzer-beater to give UMO the win. 

Mount Olive remains at home in Kornegay Arena as they will host Wingate University at 2 p.m. in the Trojans' final game of the 2019 year UMO and Wingate will meet on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 PM in a southeast regional contest.