Jordan McCain's steal and free throws by McCain and Dontrell Brite in the final 17 seconds sealed the win as Mount Olive survived a frantic rally for a 72-68 win over Chowan in non-conference men's basketball Tuesday at Murfreesboro, N.C. Brite led four players in double figures with 17 points, but Mount Olive hit only one field goal in the final six minutes as the Trojans saw a 14-point lead cut to a single point.
Mount Olive (6-3) matched its biggest lead of the game at 64-50 after Mike Moore's jumper with 6:07 left in the contest. The Trojans missed a field goal attempt and two front ends of one-and-ones, while Chowan's Warren Powers scored six points during a 14-1 run to pull the Hawks within 65-64 with 2:21 remaining.
Kendall Hargrove's putback with 1:48 left ended Mount Olive's four-minute field goal drought and extended the Trojans' lead to three. Ashante Ross' layup with 1:21 left made it a one-point game before Brite hit 1-of-2 free throws for Mount Olive with 46 seconds remaining.
Chowan had a chance for a tying or go-ahead basket, but McCain stole the ball with 17 seconds left and Mount Olive immediately called a timeout. The Trojans ran the clock down to six seconds when Brite was fouled.
After Brite hit both free throws, Tiron Brown hit a layup for Chowan with two seconds left to make it a one-possession game. But McCain was immediately fouled and hit both free throws to secure the victory.
The first half saw six ties and six lead changes before Ewon Wright's three-pointer with 5:55 left broke a 24-24 tie and put Mount Olive ahead to stay. Dominique Reed hit 4-of-4 free throws in the final four-plus minutes as the Trojans ended the half on a 12-4 run and led 36-28 at halftime.
Chowan capitalized on a Mount Olive turnover on the Trojans' opening possession of the second half as Ross' layup pulled the Hawks within six. McCain scored the game's next four points and Mount Olive took its first double-digit lead of the game at 40-30 with 19:04 left to play. The lead stayed in double figures throughout most of the second half and Wright's three-pointer with 8:34 remaining gave Mount Olive a 60-46 advantage with 8:34 remaining.
McCain scored 12 of his 13 points in the second half, while Hargrove and Moore added 10 points apiece. Dory Hines recorded eight assists to give him 518 for his career and move within seven assists of breaking the Trojan career assists record.
Brite, McCain and Reed combined for 19-for-25 (76.0 percent) from the free throw line.
Phoenix Butler-Poole led all players with 20 points for Chowan, while Powers recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Mount Olive plays its final home game of 2013 Thursday as the Trojans play host to UNC Pembroke in a non-conference match-up. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.