MISENHEIMER, N.C. – In a whistle-filled game full of 73 fouls, 113 combined free throws and four players from each team fouling out, it was only fitting that the Conference Carolinas men’s basketball game on Monday night between Mount Olive and Pfeiffer head into overtime. The Trojans scored 22 points in the extra session en route to a 136-128 win over the Falcons inside the Merner Gym. Monday’s contest at home came exactly one week after the Falcons put up 146 against Barton in a free-throw heavy contest. Mount Olive improves its league-best record to 20-5, 17-1 while Pfeiffer falls to 15-8, 11-6.
Both teams came out in the first 20 minutes of play shooting above 50% from the field. Mount Olive and Pfeiffer each had a pair of players in double-figures at the break including Kendrick Easley’s (Norfolk, VA) game-high 18. Craig Hayes (Woodbridge, VA) finished with 10 at the half while the Falcons had 15 from James Crowder (High Point, NC) and 14 from junior Jeff Pettiway (Edgewood, MD). Mount Olive led Pfeiffer 57-52 at the intermission.
The Trojans led by as many as nine throughout the second half, holding the lead until the 4:16 mark of regulation. James Morse (Arundel, ME) brought the Falcons back with a three-ball putting the hosts up 105-104. After an Easley free throw a minute later put Mount Olive up 107-105, Chris Woods (Thomasville, NC) would bounce back with two of his 16 free throws squaring the contest back up at 107.
Tied at 113 with 1:13 to play, Hayes and Pettiway would trade time at the line each making one of their two attempts for a 114-114 contest with 15 ticks left, possession with the Trojans. Out of a Mount Olive time out, Brandon Allen (Dale City, VA) drove into the lane surrounded by three Falcon defenders and clanked the game-winner off the glass sending Monday night into extra basketball.
In OT, Pettiway again brought the lead back to Pfeiffer with a long triple at the 2:02 mark for a 123-122 Falcon lead. After Hayes knocked down a close-range shot to put the Trojans back up one, Mount Olive took advantage of a turnover and three missed shots by Pfeiffer to go back up five. The visitors then made 10-straight free throws to seal the eight point win.
For the game, Mount Olive hit on 48-of-62 free throw attempts going 13-of-14 in the bonus period. Pfeiffer, shooting just two free throws in overtime, went 38-of-51 from the charity stripe shooting 74.5%. Five players from each team finished the night in double-figures as Woods was the only player recording a double-double with 32 points and 17 rebounds.
Pfeiffer now takes the rest of the week off heading into the final home, regular-season contest on Saturday night. In a battle to host a first-round playoff game, the Falcons will host St. Andrews at 7:30 p.m.