Troy State survives Porter, Nicholls State

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 16, 2001

Sports Editor

Troy State watched a 47-23 halftime lead disappear behind the hot three-point shooting of Nicholls State junior

Earnest Porter, but the Trojans (4-3) were still able to hold on for the win, 98-86, on Saturday night at Trojan Arena.

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Porter finished the game with 36 points, setting a school record by hitting 10-of-15 shots from behind the arc. At one point, early in the second half, Porter and his Colonel teammates were nailing 83 percent of their three point shots.

"You’ve got to give Nicholls State credit," said TSU head coach Don Maestri. "I don’t think you can hit that many three’s in a row in practice."

Nicholls State got as close to five points of overtaking the Trojans’ lead in the second period. Following two free throws by Shane Beaudean, TSU led just 85-80 with 3:59 still remaining.

"We never did panic and act as if we were going to lose the ball game," said Maestri. "We did some smart things to close out the game. The experience of playing this tight of a game and winning it is better for us then if we had blown them out by 20 or more points."

Clinging to the slim lead, guard Robert Rushing knocked down a three-point attempt of his own. Donnie Pemberton hit two free throws and Rushing pushed the Trojans’ advantage back out to 12 points with another basket.

The Colonels got two more three pointers from Ronnie Price and Damien Lennon, but Rushing went four-of-four from the foul line in the final two minutes.

Lemayn Wilson had 27 points to lead Troy State, while Rushing finished with 15. Ben Fletcher added 12.

Lennon had 10 points also for Nicholls State.

TSU will play Atlantic Sun foe Campbell on Wednesday in Buies Creek, N.C.