Talented Trojans come up big in quarterfinals

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In a intense back and forth contest early on, the Trojans strapped up on defense and had a big second half offensively to down the Flying Fleet 80-66 in the Conference Carolinas Tournament quarterfinals.

Mount Olive took a seven point lead into half-time at 38-31, but came out on fire in the second half. At one point, Mount Olive held an 18-point lead with eight minutes remaining. Erskine would battle back and trim the lead down to nine, but the Trojans would then go on a 10-5 run to close out the game scoring 42 points in the second half advancing them to the semifinals.

The No. 4 seed Mount Olive Trojans were awarded with a home game in the quarterfinals of the Conference Carolinas tournament and they did not disappoint. After two free throws gave Erskine the lead, senior Jamaal Matin came up big as he has done all season with a three-pointer giving Mount Olive the early 3-2 lead. Erskine would come back and take the lead, but Mount Olive would then go on a 6-0 run capped off by a three from sophomore Darius Spragley to take the lead 9-5. Over the next four minutes, the Trojans would go cold while Erskine went on a 12-2 run to take the lead 17-11. Showing reseliency, the Trojans would go on a 10-2 run of their own taking the lead at 21-19 with nine minutes left on the clock.

Mount Olive would go on another run outscoring Erskine 9-2 holding the lead at 30-24. The Trojans would close out the half outscoring the Flying Fleet 8-7 to take a 38-31 lead into halfi-time. Coming out of the intermission, Erskine would get five points but senior Jamaal Matin shut that run down by spraying a three and junior Cameron Robinson would convert an and-one to help the Trojans build a 44-36 lead early in the second half. The Flying Fleet would fight back, however, reducing the Trojan lead down to two at 42-44 with about 15 minutes remaining.

Mount Olive would widen the gap going on an 8-0 run with help from freshman Jonathan Mebane who hit back-to-back threes that sent the crowd into a frenzy. Leading 52-42, the Trojans would open up the game even more building an 18-point 64-46 lead with eight minutes left. The Mount Olive lead would be cut down to nine at 70-61, but the Trojans held the ground outscoring Erskine 10-5 to walk away victorious 80-66. Senior Jamaal Matin finished with 20 points and six rebounds, while sophomore Darius Spragley had 19 points and huge block in the win. Sophomore Alan Treakle played big minutes as well, Treakle finished with three assists and 12 points going 4-4 from the field.

Unfortunately Mount Olive’s season came to an end with their loss to No.1 seed Emmanuel in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Trojans finished the season with a 14-16, 11-7 record. Senior Jamaal Matin finished his tremendous Trojans career as the Conference Carolina’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year and freshman Michael Brown won the Freshman of the Year in the Conference Carolinas.

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