TSU falls to San Diego in first round of Classic

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 30, 2001

BOZEMAN, Mont. ­ Led by Andre Laws’ 19 points, San Diego held the Troy State men’s basketball team to its worst shooting performance of the season as the Toreros defeated TSU 70-63 in the first round of the Holiday Stores Bobcat Classic, hosted by Montana State.

The Trojans hit just 22 of 64 shots for a season-low 34.4 percent. TSU had just two players reach double figures, with Robert Rushing leading Troy State with 19 and Ben Fletcher scoring 10 points.

"We had a lot of good looks at the basket tonight," said Troy State head coach Don Maestri.

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"We just couldn’t get anything to go in for us."

The game got off to sluggish pace, with both teams playing hard-nosed defense.

Lamayn Wilson’s basket gave Troy State a 15-13 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the first half.

San Diego (7-4) would go on a 24-13 run to end the half with a 37-28 lead.

Laws scored 18 points in the first half, setting a new tournament record for most points scored in one half by player.

The second half was marred by fouls, as both teams combined for 33 free throw attempts in the second half.

San Diego took advantage of the physical play, extending their lead to 13, 43-40, as Jason Blair made one of two free throws.

The Trojans would rally, cutting the lead to four, 56-52, with 6:29 left in the game.

Lacedrick Pettway was the key to run, scoring six points, going 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the process.

Troy State could not complete its comeback bid as the Toreros went 8-for-13 from the free throw line down the stretch to ice the game.

Laws’ was held to just one point in the second half, scoring a game-high 19 points.

Tom Lippold added 14 for the Toreros.

Wilson was held to six points and was limited to just 24 minutes due to foul trouble.

His six points was the fewest points he had scored in a game in his career.

"Robert stepped up and played well for us," Maestri said.

"We just couldn’t get anybody else to step up and play well for us."

The Trojans will face either Montana State or Hampton in the consolation game of Sunday.

Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (CST). The game will be broadcast on the Troy State Sports Network and aired locally on WTBF, 94.7 FM.