Trojans Escape Late Comeback To Down Wingate 78-75

Photo by James Benson
Photo by James Benson

MOUNT OLIVE, North Carolina - The University of Mount Olive men's basketball team won a close battle against the Bulldogs of Wingate University in Kornegay Arena on Saturday afternoon in non-conference men's basketball action in the final contest for the Trojans in 2019. UMO improves to 8-5 on the season, while Wingate falls to 4-6. 

The game saw UMO outscore Wingate 42-to-29 in the opening half, but hold on to win despite surrendering their double-digit lead in the second half.

The first bucket of the game collected by way of a three-pointer by Matthias Caver to give Mount Olive the first lead. the game remained close for a majority of the opening half as the lead between the two squads never tallied more than six points until the clock ticked under seven minutes. Johnny Hughes III smashed home a dunk with 6:36 remaining to spark a small 9-to-1 run that gave Mount Olive it's first double-digit lead at 34-22 with over four and a half to play. The lead continued to grow as the Bulldogs recorded the finals points of the half on a pair of free-throws and went into the break down 42-29.

In the second half, Wingate was able to crack the ten-point margin just before the under 16-minute media timeout with a five-point streak that brought the score down to 45-36. Mount Olive quickly made a layup out of the timeout and put the lead back to 10 and the two teams continued to battle. The double-digit lead for the Trojans was broken once more with under nine minutes to play as the Bulldogs were able to score six unanswered points to draw the deficit down to five, 62-57 with 7:25 on the clock. They were then able to erase the Trojan lead at the 4:35 mark as the game became tied at 64 after a seven-point run. The game went on to be tied five more times before Mount Olive secured the lead with 27 seconds left on a Cameron Robinson three to give UMO the 77-75 lead and Caver closed the game out with a free-throw to seal the win. 

The Trojans were led by Matthias Caver with 19 points. Michael Brown and Cameron Robinson also added double-digit points with 15 and 11 points respectively. Brown was just shy of a triple-double as he added nine rebounds and eight assists.

The Bulldogs had two athletes in double figures but were led by Miguel Priest with a team-high 14 points.

The key moments of the game came Cameron Robinson's three-pointer with 27 seconds to go in the game to give UMO the lead. Following the made bucket a made free-throw by Matthias Caver helped seal the win for the Trojans. 

Mount Olive is off for the remainder of the year and will begin action again in the New Year when the Trojans travel to Gaffney, S.C. on January 2 to head back into Conference Carolinas play to take on Limestone College at 7:30 p.m.