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Trojans clip Panthers

After going 0-for-5 as a team from the free throw line through the first 39 minutes Tuesday, Regis Huddleston and Michael Vogler each nailed two free throws to clinch a 68-63 victory over the Georgia State Panthers for the Troy Trojans in Trojan Arena.

“Regis’ free throws were big and he stepped up for us,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “And Mike made two big free throws too.”

Maestri said winning the close games is good for the Trojans (3-3) and the close game situation allows for some practice a team can’t find on the practice floor.

“The only time you can practice pressure free throws is in the end of real games,” he said. “You don’t want to be in close games all the time, but the positive is if you come out on top in the close game then you have some experience in a tight game.”

Vogler finished the game with a near double-double with 10 points and seven assists. He also had six rebounds and Maestri said it is good to have a player of that caliber back on the court.

“Mike is a playmaking guard,” Maestri said. “He creates and makes it easier for the other players to get shots. He is such a big asset to this team. We really did miss him those first couple games. And his shot hasn’t even come around yet. Even though he is back his shooting isn’t back and we are hoping that comes around as time goes on. You can see the difference when he is out there.”

And he has an effect on more than just his teammates.

“He adds a little bit of a confidence to our players, but he also adds an excitement to our fans,” Maestri said. “They enjoy watching Mike pass that basketball.”

Vogler sat out the first couple games of the season with an ankle injury. He said it felt great to be back in front of the home crowd.

“It was great to be in front of the home crowd and a lot of people showed up,” Vogler said. “It was a lot of fun.”

Travis Lee led the Trojans with 12 points, Richard Delk chipped in 11 and Brandon Hazzard also had 10 points. Antywan Jones and Tom Jervis each had eight points and Jervis added five rebounds.

The Trojans return to the hardwood Nov. 29 for a game against Northwestern State in the LSU Thanksgiving Tournament. Tip off is set for 4:30 p.m. from Baton Rouge, La.