Men's Basketball Holds Off Florida Southern 94-84

Men's Basketball Holds Off Florida Southern 94-84

Freshman Jacque Brown scored six of his career-high 17 points in the final 96 seconds of the game as the University of Mount Olive defeated Florida Southern 94-84 Saturday afternoon in non-conference men's basketball in Lakeland, Fla. The win gives Mount Olive its fifth consecutive victory.

The heart of the game came in the final four minutes of regulation. Jamaal Matin hit a three-pointer with 4:07 to give Mount Olive (7-4) the lead for the first time since the eight minute mark in the first half. Matin's three-pointer was the final blow in a seven point run that put the Trojans ahead to stay. Florida Southern (5-7) responded by making two free throws and drawing the lead back to one. JaQuan Blount was fouled from beyond the arch and went on to hit all of his free throws and the Trojans led 82-78.

The Mocs' Dylan Karell slammed a pass from Sheldon Zablotny to bring the game to within three at 85-82 with 1:50 remaining. It was at that time that Brown made his impact. The freshman guard quickly responded to the dunk with a layup and went on to be fouled twice more after that. Brown hit all of his free throws and Mount Olive had a 91-84 lead with 53 seconds left. Dontrell Brite added three points after Brown's final free throw and the lead went to 10 and Florida Southern was thwarted an attempt of a comeback.

Mount Olive after the opening tip-off controlled the lead for a majority of the half until the Mocs went on a 9-2 with under 11 minutes left before halftime. After the switch in momentum Florida Southern gradually grew as the Mocs ended the first half on a 11-0 run taking a 48-35 lead into the break.

Mike Moore's free throws with 18:59 in the second half started Mount Olive's comeback down by its largest margin, 50-35. An 8-0 run ensured taking the lead back under double digits at 50-43. Florida Southern was able to push the lead back to 14 with 13:49 after back-to-back layups by RJ June. This sparked another 8-0 run by the Trojans capped off by a three point play by Emmanuel Patton with 12:09 taking the deficit to 63-58. 

The Trojans continued to fight back leading up to the final four minutes and what turned into a successful Mount Olive comeback and win in Lakeland, Fla.

Blount joined Brown's career night with 17 points and Matin added 16 points. Moore added 10 points. Brite had a near double-double night to go along with his career-high 12 assists in the game as he finished with eight points.

Mount Olive will return to action after the new year as the Trojans head down to Franklin Springs, Ga. to take on Emmanuel College January 2 at 4 p.m.