UMO Hoops Falls To King 76-74 In Road Battle

Photo by James Benson
Photo by James Benson

BRISTOL, Tennesse - The University of Mount Olive men's basketball team fell in a close battle against the Tornado of King University 76-74 Saturday afternoon in Conference Carolinas men's basketball action. UMO drops to 8-7, 2-5 on the season, while King improves to 10-4, 5-2. 

The game saw UMO bring down a nine-point King lead down to one with two seconds left, but a made free-throw and an offensive rebound by the Tornado sealed the win for the home five.

The game began with the two squads exchanging three-pointers to knot the game at three. The half then exchanged lead two more times before a third exchange gave King the 23-14 lead via a 11-point run just after the under 12 media timeout. Mount Olive kept it close, and following a six-point run with under five to play, the Trojans regained the lead with 3:51. The half was tied twice more and King ended the period with five unanswered points to take a 39-34 cushion into the break.

In the second half, King continued to maintain their lead and used a seven-point run to move ahead by seven, 55-47, with 12:04 and the lead remained without threat for much of the second half. As the clock quickly became the Trojans' enemy, Mount Olive began to push points in the paint as UMO converted two free throws and a layup to help bring the lead down to two at 73-71 with 43 seconds to go in the contest. The six-point run by the Trojans forced a timeout by King and following the stoppage the Tornado converted two free throws after a UMO foul. As King led 75-71 with eight seconds remaining, the Trojans found the bottom of the net from deep from the hands Jonathan Mebane and the deficit was cut to one. A quick foul on the inbound stopped the clock once again but a made free throw and subsequent offensive rebound sealed the win for King. 

The Trojans were led by Michael Brown with 14 points. Johnny Hughes III, Calvin WashingtonJonathan Mebane, and Darius Spragley also added double-digit points with 12, 12, 11, and 11 points respectively.

The Tornado had two athletes in double figures but were led by Jordan Floyd with a team-high 43 points.

The key moment of the game came when King was able to convert on the charity stripe and grab an all-important offensive rebound to thwart any attempt of a last-second shot attempt by UMO. 

Mount Olive will return to Kornegay Arena on January 8 when the Trojans host Chowan University at 7:30 p.m.