The Mount Olive College Men's Basketball Team (5-0) remained undefeated on the season with an 80-70 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne University (1-3) Monday evening
in the Bears' home opener at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
The Trojans' Craig Hayes (Woodbridge, Va.) finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Darrell Patterson (Woodbridge, Va.) came off the bench to score 18 points including nine-of-10 from the free throw line to lead Mount Olive to the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman guard Denzel Dillingham (Hickory, N.C.) led all scorers with 27 points and hit 10-of-15 field goal attempts but was only one of two Bears to score in double figures on the night.
L-R held a 27-26 advantage at halftime but Mount Olive quickly took control after the break.
A 12-0 Trojan run capped off by a pair of free throws by Terrell Barrett (Farmville, N.C.) gave Mount Olive a 52-37 lead with 11:45 remaining in the half.
The Trojans pushed their lead to as many as 18 points later in the second half and the deficit was too great for the Bears to overcome as Mount Olive connected on 23-of-34 free throw attempts after intermission.
For the contest, Mount Olive shot 66 percent (29-of-44) from the charity stripe and forced Lenoir-Rhyne into 23 turnovers on the game.
Sophomore forward Allan Jones (Clemmons, N.C.) added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Bears in the loss as well.
Lenoir-Rhyne opens South Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday, November 30, against Mars Hill beginning at 8:00 p.m., at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Mount Olive, off to its best start in nine years, takes on Elizabeth City State in the Barton College Classic on Friday, December 2, at 5:30 p.m., in Wilson, N.C.
MOUNT OLIVE 80, LRU 70
1st 2nd Total
Mount Olive................... 26 54 - 80
Lenoir-Rhyne.................. 27 43 - 70
MOC: STATEN 7, IBRAHIM 2, HAYES 21 (10 REBOUNDS), HINES 5, CHEEKS 4, BARRETT 4, PATTERSON 18, HARGROVE 7, WRIGHT 6, GREEN 1, McCAIN 5. FG: 22-59, 3FG: 7-21, FT: 29-44. 37 REBOUNDS, 10 TURNOVERS, 13 ASSISTS.
LRU: McCLURE 5, DAVIS 2, DILLINGHAM 27 (7 REBOUNDS), THOMAS 6, JONES 12 (8 REBOUNDS), McKENZIE 4, HATHCOCK 2, McCLINTOCK 3, BEASLEY 5, TERRELL 2, KUNZ 2. FG: 24-52, 3FG: 3-8, FT: 19-27. 38 REBOUNDS, 23 TURNOVERS, 10 ASSISTS.
Photo Courtesy: Denzel Dillingham, LRU Athletics