John Wieland scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half and nationally 24th-ranked University of Mount Olive used the three-ball to pull away for a 58-42 victory over Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans finished with 11 three-pointers, including seven in the first half.
Three-pointers by Jordan McCain and JaQuan Blount staked Mount Olive (14-2 overall, 7-1 Conference Carolinas) to a 6-0 lead with 15:42 left, but the Trojans managed only one field goal over the next seven-plus minutes. Both teams were still in single digits at the time of the under-10 minute media timeout as Pfeiffer rallied to tie the game 9-9.
Dontrell Brite's basket broke the tie and Wieland and McCain followed with three-pointers in an 8-0 run to give the Trojans a 17-9 lead. After A.J. Clark followed with his second three-pointer of the half for Pfeiffer (5-7, 2-5), Wieland accounted for nine of the Trojans' next 11 points with three more three-pointers to give Mount Olive its first double-digit lead of the contest. De'Vonte Jenkins hit a short jumper for Pfeiffer with 55 seconds left to cut the Trojans' lead to 28-20 at halftime.
Brite scored the first four points of the second half and Tayon Gleaves' three-pointer highlighted an 11-2 run to extend Mount Olive's lead to 39-22 with 16:14 left to play. After a pair of free throws by Clark for the Falcons, Wieland hit his fifth three-pointer of the contest and Cleaves added two more three-pointers to push the Trojans' lead past the 20-point mark at 48-26 with 10:33 left to play.
Mount Olive's lead grew to as many 24 points and never fell below 20 until the final three minutes.
Gleaves finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals off the bench for the Trojans. Kendall Hargrove hit 7-of-10 free throws and shared game-high honors with 10 rebounds to go with three blocked shots. Dominique Reed, who ranks nationally in the top 10 in blocked shots, finished with four blocks.
Mount Olive matched its highest three-point total of the season despite scoring less than points for the first time this season. The win gives the Trojans a sweep over the Falcons in the regular season series.
Clark led all scorers with 19 points for Pfeiffer, while Jenkins recorded a double-double off the bench with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Mount Olive concludes its three-game homestand Wednesday as the Trojans play host to Belmont Abbey in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Kornegay Arena.