Trojans Finally Home to Face FIU

Published 3:49 pm Friday, January 2, 2009

After disappointing losses on the road to Jacksonville and Western Kentucky, the Troy Trojans return home to face FIU on Saturday night at Trojan Arena in Sun Belt Conference basketball action.

Saturday’s game will not be a night off for the Trojans, they face a very physical FIU team that enters with a record of 5-10 and is still looking for its first conference victory after starting Sun Belt play 0-2 with losses to Arkansas State and South Alabama.

“We have had some hard-fought, tough games against FIU over the years. The games have always come down to the last few minutes and last couple of possessions. They are a tough-nosed, physical team and they have their best player back [senior guard Alex Galindo]. He’s one of the best players in the league and he shoots it really well from three-point range,” head coach Don Maestri said.

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Galindo scored 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep in his first game back against Fordham on December 29, a game the Golden Panthers won 63-55. The senior transfer from Kansas missed the first 14 games of the year with a dislocated ankle.

In his absence, Michael Dominguez (11.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg) and Freddy Asprilla (11.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg) shouldered the load for FIU.

Troy is glad to be back at home after playing 10 of its first 14 games on the road, a place where they have a record of 2-8. The Trojans have posted a 3-1 record within the confines of Trojan Arena in 2008-09. The Trojans split two games with FIU last season, with each team winning at home.

“We are going to see if we can bounce back again from another road trip. Hopefully, we can play better basketball again now that we are back at home,” Maestri said.

The Trojans are led offensively by Richard Delk’s 14.2 ppg and Brandon Hazzard’s 12.1 ppg. Surprisingly, it has been point guard Michael Vogler stepping up offensively in the last four contests.

The nation’s sixth-leading assist man (6.5 apg) has scored in double-figures in four straight games with an average of 13.5 ppg dating back to Troy’s loss at UAB.

Tip-off for Saturday’s game is set for 7:30 pm. The men will take the floor after the conclusion of the match-up between the Troy women and FIU, which is scheduled to begin at 5:15 pm. Barry McKnight will bring you all the men’s action from Trojan Arena on the Troy ISP Network.