University of Mount Olive recorded its highest first-half and single-game scoring totals of the season as the Trojans defeated Belmont Abbey College 102-76 in Conference Carolinas men's basketball Tuesday at Kornegay Arena. Dominique Reed notched a double-double for the Trojans with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Tuesday's contest was the first of three home games in five days for the Trojans, which have scored a combined 194 points in their last two games.
Mount Olive (11-7 overall, 6-4 Conference Carolinas) broke away from an early one-point deficit as Jamaal Matin's steal and Dontrell Brite's layup capped a 14-1 run to give the Trojans a 23-11 lead with 13:14 left in the first half. The margin stayed in double figures the remainder of the contest.
The lead surpassed the 20-point mark after Mike Moore's three-pointer with 9:05 remaining gave the Trojans a 40-19 advantage. Belmont Abbey (6-12, 3-8) got as close as 14 points after a three-pointer by Ben Ferguson with exactly five minutes left before halftime. But the Crusaders never got any closer as Cecil Moore hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to push the margin back to 20 before Mount Olive settled for a 60-42 halftime lead.
The Trojans shot 70.0 percent (21-for-30) from the field in the first half.
The margin never fell below 20 after Mykel Hart's layup on Mount Olive's first possession of the second half and the Trojans extended the lead to 74-50 after a steal and one-hand fastbreak dunk by JaQuan Blount and a finger roll by Mike Moore. The lead reached 30 for the first time after Reed converted a three-point play with 8:18 remaining to make the score 89-59.
Mount Olive reached the century mark on Cecil Moore's three-pointer from the right corner with 2:07 left to play for the Trojans final points of the game. The last time Mount Olive scored in triple digits was February 17, 2014, in a 100-61 victory at Belmont Abbey.
Brite scored 17 points to go with a game-high six assists, while Mike Moore finished with 14 points and Hart added 10 points. Mount Olive outrebounded Belmont Abbey 38-28 and outscored the Crusaders 44-16 in the paint.
Despite the loss, Belmont Abbey had the game's top two scorers. Ferguson led all players with 22 points off the bench for the Crusaders, while Deion Lane added 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Trojans play host to a pair of Conference Carolinas contests this weekend, including the first-ever live national telecast to originate from the University of Mount Olive campus. Mount Olive takes on North Greenville University Friday at 7:30 p.m., then entertains Limestone College Saturday at 6 p.m. for the 33rd Annual Basketball Church Night. Saturday's men's and women's basketball doubleheader will air nationally on American Sports Network as part of its NCAA Division II Showcase.