MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's basketball team battled back with a 23-5 run late in the second half, nearly cutting a 31-point deficit to single digits as Mount Olive College held on for a 96-84 win on Saturday evening in Conference Carolinas play.
Five Trojans (13-11, 8-8 CC) registered in double-figures, with Brandon Allen (Woodbridge, Va.) and Derek Staton (Norfolk, Va.) leading the way with 26 points each. Dory Hines (Kinston, N.C.) dished a game-high 16 assists on the evening for Mount Olive.
Adam McFerran (Stowe, Ohio) paced the Bobcats (6-17, 2-13 CC) with a game-high 27 points, while Daniel Sepokas (Illawong, Australia) fell three rebounds shy of a triple-double, tallying 17 points with 10 assists and seven rebounds. Sam Youse (Winston-Salem, N.C.) also registered 18 in the scorebook for the Bobcats.
The Trojans opened the contest with a quick 5-0 spurt, ended by Sepokas grabbing a defensive board and taking it to the rim for the score. The Trojans then rattled off a 17-6 run to open a 14-point lead at the 9:20 mark in the opening half, capping the run on a three-point basket from Mahamed Ibrahim (Annandale, Va.).
Sepokas sliced the lead to 11, nailing a jumper from beyond the arc to make it a 22-11 Trojan advantage. The Bobcats battled back, cutting the lead to six when Reshon Benjamin (Valdosta, Ga.) with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. The Trojans then closed the half with an 11-5 spurt to take a 43-31 lead to intermission.
In the second frame, the Trojans exploded out of the locker room, extending the lead to 31 points with 9:42 remaining in the contest, taking a 72-41 advantage on a Staton jumper. The Trojans continued to hold a large advantage, maintaining a 31-point advantage with 7:52 remaining in the contest.
The Bobcats refused to give in, digging deep and sparking a 23-5 run over the next four minutes when McFerran dropped in a lay-up to make it an 85-72 Trojan margin. The Bobcats battled, but were unable to cut the contest closer than 11 points over the final three minutes, with Mount Olive holding on to earn the 96-84 victory.
Lees- McRae returns to the hardwood on Feb. 22, traveling to Belmont, N.C. to take on Belmont Abbey College in Conference Carolinas action at 7:30 p.m. Belmont Abbey won the teams' first meeting of the season by an 80-67 margin on Jan. 27 in Banner Elk, N.C.