Tigerville, SC – Mount Olive made 12 straight free throws over the final 1:26 to clinch an 87-82 come from behind win over the North Greenville University men’s basketball team on Saturday afternoon in Hayes Gymnasium.
For the first 10 minutes of action the Crusaders and Trojans were joined at the hip as neither team led by more than six at any point. However, with Mount Olive ahead 20-19, the Crusaders put together a 15-8 run over a five minute span to build a six-point lead with just over four minutes remaining. North Greenville held onto their advantage as they clung to a 40-35 advantage at the half.
The Crusaders and Trojans continued to battle throughout the second half but North Greenville ran into foul trouble late in the game, sending the Trojans to the line 12 times over the final minute and a half. Mount Olive took advantage of the free shots leading to a five-point victory.
As a team, North Greenville shot 50.8 percent and dished out 19 assists, while holding the Trojans to a 32.9 percent shooting clip in the game. However, Mount Olive earned a 45-37 edge on the boards and forced the Crusaders into 16 turnovers.
Junior Chris Dean led the team with 22 points on 8-for-12 shooting while also recording six rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Senior Tyshawn Patterson was the team’s second highest scorer with 16 points with fellow senior Jamaal Pryor following close behind with 14 points and six rebounds of his own.
Junior Keith Johnson was close to his third straight double-double, recording 12 points and nine rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Senior Tim Franklin chipped in six points and a season-high eight assists in the game.
North Greenville (7-9, 4-8 in Conference Carolinas) will take to the road for a matchup with Limestone College on Monday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Gaffney, SC.