Men's Basketball

Bobcats Rally Not Enough

Elijah Rouse scored eight of the game's first 10 points and finished with 17 points as Mount Olive held off a late rally Lees-McRae rally to extend its winning streak to seven with a 95-85 victory over the Bobcats Saturday afternoon in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's basketball action.

Mount Olive (18-5 overall, 12-4 CVAC) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first two minutes of the contest, highlighted by a pair of dunks and pair of jumpers in the paint by Rouse. Henry Williams' basket with 15:40 remaining gave Lees-McRae (5-16, 4-10) its first points of the game and the Bobcats whittled the lead down to 17-14 midway through the first half.

The Trojans' lead was still three with less than five minutes left before the break when Coffield's three-pointer ignited a 10-2 run to close out the half and Mount Olive went into the locker room with a 39-28 halftime lead. Rouse had 13 points at the half.

Mount Olive extended the lead to 17 points early in the second half, fueled by three-pointers by Justin Melton and Kendrick Easley, and dunks by Lydell Walker and Mike Holloman. Three-pointers by Williams and Darius Roper sparked a Lees-McRae and the Bobcats pulled within 55-51 with 12:21 remaining.

Easley's three-pointer put Mount Olive back up by seven and the Trojans' defense helped built the lead up to 20 points. Mike Holloman scored a transition basket of Brandon Streeter's outlet pass and Coffield's slam dunk off his steal at midcourt gave the Trojans a 78-58 lead with 6:15 left to play. After Mount Olive emptied its bench with three minutes remaining and a 16-point lead, a series of Lees-McRae three-pointers cut the lead down to single digits. But the Trojans scored their last 13 points from the free throw line to seal the win.

Rouse, who is ranked nationally in four NCAA II statistical categories, improved his averages in three of the four. Rouse was 8-for-9 from the field, while recording five steals and two blocked shots. He also pulled down six rebounds to share game-high honors. Melton matched Rouse with five steals and dished out four assists.

Roper, (pictured top left), led all scorers with 24 points for Lees-McRae, while Williams finished with 20 points and Aaron Dugger added 13 points and a game-high seven assists. Roper and Williams pulled down six boards apiece as Lees-McRae outrebounded Mount Olive 41-25.

Mount Olive hit 17-for-23 field goal attempts (73.9 percent) in the second half and shot 55.8 percent (29-for-52) for the game. The two teams combined for 113 points in the second half, including a combined 33 points from the free throw line.

The Bobcats will resume their four game road swing away from Williams Gymnasium when they travel to Queen's University of Charlotte. Tip off is scheduled for 7:30pm.