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Trojans fall on road to MTSU

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Troy failed to score for more than seven minutes in the first half, falling behind 41-24 at the half, before eventually dropping the game 81-53 at the Murphy Center in Sun Belt Conference action on Thursday.

Troy shot just 33.3 percent for the game, including hitting just 24.1 percent of their three-point attempts against a MTSU team picked to win the Sun Belt Conference.

“When you stop scoring you stop doing other things well, too. We stopped playing good defense and we lost intensity. I give credit to Middle Tennessee for their defense. Some of it was our fault, but I thought MTSU did a good job defensively on us,” head coach Don Maestri said.

The Trojans opened up a 15-13 lead to start the first half, but after Kenny Ware’s jumper gave Troy the two point advantage with 11:51 to go, MTSU rattled off 18 straight points to take a 31-15 lead over Troy.

The Blue Raiders took control behind 19 first half points from Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year Desmond Yates. The junior hit 9-of-12 shots in the opening period. He finished the contest with 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead both teams.

Brandon Hazzard ended the home team run with a three-pointer at the 4:48 mark of the first half, but Middle Tennessee took a 41-24 lead into halftime. Hazzard’s three-pointer ended a seven minute scoreless streak for the Trojans.

The Trojans started the second half much how they left the first, missing their first two shots from deep before Michael Vogler scored the Trojans first points on a fall away runner down the right side of the lane, 45-26.

Hazzard and Vogler both added eight points for Troy.

Kevin Kanaskie drilled a three-pointer with 17:22 remaining to give MTSU their biggest lead thus far at 22 points with the score standing at 48-26.

Richard Delk became the first Trojan to record double-figure scoring with a lay-up with 14:31 remaining, which became the first of three straight scoring trips for the junior. He finished the game with 22 points.

Regis Huddleston split a pair of free throws at the 8:08 and nailed a long three with around seven minutes to go dropping the lead to 66-44.

Troy endures another lengthy lay-off after tonight’s game and they do not play until a home match-up Florida Atlantic at home next Thursday.