Trojans hang on
Brandon Hazzard knocked down two three pointers and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the waning minutes of the Troy Trojans’ 83-72 victory.
UNO had cut a 15-point Troy lead at the half to five at 68-63 with six minutes to play. In the next three minutes Hazzard drilled two treys to push the Trojans’ advantage to 76-68 with three minutes to go in the game. Hazzard nailed his free throws to ice the game for Troy.
“Brandon hit another big three for us,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “And he hit all his free throws and we had four stops on defense near the close of the game to get the win. We won and that is the important thing.”
Hazzard led the Trojans with 26 points and said he was excited to help his team win.
“(Richard) Delk drove to the lane and kicked it out to me and I was focused on making the shot,” Hazzard said. “I knew if he drove my man would follow him and he did, leaving me wide open and I knocked them down.”
Hazzard was also perfect at the free throw line for the game at 8-for-8.
Maestri was pleased with his team’s composure when UNO chipped the lead down to five late in the game.
“They (UNO) cut it to five and called a timeout and when our guys came to the huddle I could see a look of confidence in all of them,” Maestri said. “I could see these guys wanted to close this game out and they looked confident, not panicked. They were determined to win.”
Michael Vogler chipped in a career high of 18 points and had five assists. Delk scored 16 points, with 10 of those in the second half. Kenny Ware led the team with nine rebounds and Tom Jervis pitched in eight boards.
The win was the third straight overall and in conference play. The three-game streak marks the first time Troy has won three straight Sun Belt games since joining the conference in the 2005-06 season.
Troy jumped out to a 9-3 early in the first half and never looked back. Troy pushed the lead to 19-8 before UNO cut it to 21-17.
Troy led by as many as 15 in the first half. Troy entered halftime with a 44-29 lead.
The teams traded buckets and free throws out of the break and Troy led 48-35 with 15 minutes left in the game.
The Privateers hit back-to-back three-pointers to trim the lead to single digits at 62-54 late in the second half.
UNO then cut the lead to five for the first time since early in the game at 68-63 with six minutes to play. Hazzard drained a three, but following a timeout, the Privateers answered with a trey of their own. Hazzard nailed another trey to give Troy a 76-68 lead with three minutes to play.
True free throw attempts sealed the victory for Troy.