Josh Williams had a career night with 14 points and Tom Jervis snagged 10 rebounds and blocked seven shots, as the Troy Trojans took down the William Carey Crusaders 80-68 Monday night at Trojan Arena.
“I felt good and I just always try to be ready when coach pulls my number,” Williams said. “He gave me the green light to shoot and it felt good every time I shot tonight.”
Troy head coach Don Maestri was pleased how Williams played in the second half when the Trojans (7-9) had let their sizable lead slip to as few as four points.
“Josh Williams came in in the second half and really gave us the spark,” Maestri said. “He really played well offensively.”
But Williams’ effort was not limited to offensive output.
“A lot of people don’t realize the job he did for us defensively,” Maestri said. “We needed that energy on defense and he gave it to us.”
Jervis took advantage of his size advantage Monday night.
“They were a good small team, so I knew I had to get more involved,” Jervis said. “I didn’t press the ball, I let it come to me. And I was in the right spots at the right time.”
Jervis’ seven blocks moved him past Terry Pickett into sixth place on the Trojans all-time blocks list. The list records the top Trojans since the move to Division I basketball. Jervis is two blocks away from fifth place.
“I thought Tom played really well tonight,” Maestri said. “His presence in the middle really made a big difference for us defensively. He bothered them a lot.”
The Trojans jumped out to a 10-2 lead early in the game and pushed the lead to as much as 42-22 in the first half. Troy was true on 7-of-20 shots from behind the three-point arc in the first half and led 45-33 at the end of the first half.
Travis Lee contributed three of the Trojans’ seven three pointers in the first half. The Trojans’ lead was never in doubt, as they led the entire first half.
William Carey was 3-of-13 from beyond the arc and only 14-of-37 from the field in the first half.
The Crusaders cut the lead to 45-35 early in the second half and continued to push the Trojans the rest of the half.
But Troy had an answer for every Carey bucket. With 14:37 to go Troy’s lead had been cut to 53-49. William Carey outrebounded Troy 9-1 in the early goings of the second half for the advantage.
Good inside and outside play pushed the Troy lead back to 62-51.
The Crusaders never went away, cutting into the lead several times, but a sudden three-point barrage from the Trojans kicked the lead back to 73-54 with 7:35 remaining to play.
Troy pushed it to 80-66 with 1:30 remaining. William Carey scored again, but it was too little, too late, as the Trojans won 80-68.
Brandon Hazzard and Michael Vogler chipped in 13 points apiece, Travis Lee had 11, Richard Delk had nine and Antywan Jones contributed eight.
The Trojans are back in action for a conference matchup with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday at Trojan Arena beginning at 7:30 p.m.