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Troy State faces Stetson

on the road in TAAC rematch

By STEVEN G. WATSON

Sports Editor

The Troy State Trojans will try and defend a four-game winning streak, but will have to get physical to do it Thursday.

Just as in their "battle royal" at Trojan Arena back on Jan. 24, the Trojans will have to face down the physical Stetson Hatters on their own floor. TSU won that first battle 75-64, but players like Donnie Pemberton and Eugene Christopher looked like they had been in a prize fight before the end of it.

The Hatters (11-9 overall, 6-5 in Trans America Athletic Conference play) do what they do best in the paint. With their wide bodies and rebounding muscle, if you ever let them have their way with you once, you’d better get set for a long night.

They sandwiched the loss to Troy State (14-6, 10-1) between four TAAC wins against Florida Atlantic and Central Florida, but haven’t had very much luck against the upper teams in the conference. Still, the Hatters stand in a three-way tie for fifth place and a win over the No. 1 team in the TAAC would be a nice prize for Stetson right now.

"They have a very strong interior lineup," TSU head coach Don Maestri said. "They’ve won five of their last six games so they’re not a team to take lightly right now, especially when you are in our position. They’ve also got their point guard (Ravii Givens) back. He was out for the game in Troy and could be a big factor."

In two very contrasting styles, the Trojans will have to contend with the girth of Sebastian Singletary (6-foot-5, 240-pounds) who leads the Hatters averaging almost a double-double. He hits for 15.5 points per game and grabs a league-leading 9.6 boards.

Stetson will have to stop the outstanding outside shooting of the Trojans led by the league’s top point guard in Detric Golden. He’s at the top of the league in scoring with 17 a game while the team as a whole ranks as one of the top 3-point shooting clubs in the country shooting 42.9 percent from beyond the arch.

"Five of our final seven games are on the road and it’s important for us to finish strong," Maestri said. "We will keep taking it one game at a time and see what happens. That has been the focus of this group."

Tipoff for the game is set for 6:30 p.m. All the action can be hear live on 100.3 FM with pregame commentary beginning at 6 p.m.