MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - Freshman Mike Smith extended his streak of 20-point games to six in a row, but the Pfeiffer men's basketball team (2-5, 0-1 CC) dropped its Conference Carolinas opener to Mount Olive (5-2, 1-0) 94-82 on Wednesday evening. Smith entered the game fifth in the nation in scoring, and the only freshman in the top 50, and poured in a game-high 25 points, including a 10-for-14 performance from the free throw line. The Trojans used a balanced attack to secure the victory as five different players scored in double figures, led by 20 from Dominique Reed.
Pfeiffer had the game as close as 81-77 with 4:12 left in the game, but the Trojans closed on a 13-5 run in crunch time. Mount Olive shot only 42 percent from the field and went 4-of-21 from behind the arc, but held an 18-8 advantage on the offensive glass leading to a 54-36 lead in points in the paint.
The Falcons welcomed sophomores Matt Ellwood and David McNair back to the lineup and each provided a lift. Ellwood had 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while McNair narrowly missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Ellwood missed four games with an ankle injury and played only three minutes on Saturday.
AJ Clark was stellar from the point guard position, hitting 7-of-11 shots for 16 points and added four assists. Big man Silvere Aluko had nine rebounds and two blocked shots on the defensive end. Pfeiffer committed 20 turnovers in the contest, compared to 11 by the Trojans.
Pfeiffer continued a strong stretch on the offensive end as they have 80 or more points in each of the last six games.
Mount Olive got 17 points off the bench from Jordan McCain and 13 points and 11 rebounds from Dory Hines.
Each team shot 34 free throws, with Pfeiffer converting 25 and Mount Olive hitting 24.
The Falcons look to return to the win column when they host Limestone on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Merner Gym.