HARTSVILLE, S.C. – Mount Olive’s Kendrick Easley and Lamonte Theus scored 23 and 22 points respectively, with 18 of Easley’s points coming the second half, as they led the Trojans to an 84-77 win over the Coker Cobras in men’s Conference Carolinas basketball action on Wednesday night. Theus finished the night with a double-double, grabbing 11 rebounds to add to his 22 points, while the Trojans Craig Hayes also had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Coker (5-7, 2-4 Conf. Carolinas) was led by a trio of players in double figures. Mason Ambler (Atlanta, Ga.) had a team high 22 points and nine rebounds, while Thomas Wright (Sydney, Australia) netted 15 points, nine of which came from 3-point range, with eight rebounds. Liam Kyle (Cleveland, Ohio) was the third Cobra to score double digits, scoring 14 points and pulling down nine points.
In a tightly contested game, Mount Olive (8-6, 6-0 Conf. Carolinas) held as much as a 10 point lead in the first half, but a 13-5 Coker run down the final seven minutes of the half cut the lead to just two as the teams headed to the locker room.
The Cobras continued their strong play in the first seven minutes of the second half, taking as much as a four point lead with 16:05 left to play. However the lead did not last long as Mount Olive quickly regained their lead and with 11:06 remaining the Trojans took the lead and never looked back. The Cobras got within five points with just 50 seconds left, but Mount Olive’s Derek Staton hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 50 seconds to secure the win.
Mike Holloman added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Trojans, with Staton adding 10 points.
Coker had the advantage in points in the paint (40) and points off turnovers (19), but Mount Olive scored 21 points from beyond the arc compared to Coker’s nine points and held a slight advantage on second chance points, 26-22.
The Cobras returns to action Saturday as they travel to Banner Elk, N.C., to take on Lees-McRae in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Tip-off is 4:00 p.m. Mount Olive travels to Due West, S.C., for a 4:00 p.m. game at Erskine.