Troy topples Mean Green

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, January 29, 2009

DENTON, Texas — Troy got late offense from a familiar face and early offense from an unexpected face as the Trojans defeated North Texas 77-69 at the Super Pit in Sun Belt action.

Mario Telfair scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench to provide an unexpected spark off the bench. Brandon Hazzard continued his improved play this season with 23 points, including some key free throws down the stretch.

“Mario Telfair made some of the most unbelievable baskets down low, tip-ins, post shots. He was excellent off the bench after Tom got in foul trouble tonight. Then Kenny Ware who had missed his last nine three-point shots, hit maybe the biggest three of his career. It gave us a four point lead and really put pressure on North Texas,” head coach Don Maestri said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I thought we showed great confidence and except for a few times no one on our team really forced anything. For the most part I thought we were as confident as we have been all year. I though this might also have been one of our best defensive performances. North Texas has far and away out-shot their opponents from the free throw line and we out shot them from the foul line tonight. I told the team before the game that if we did that, we would win.”

Troy hit 13-of-19 foul shots, compared to the Mean Green hitting 14-of-19 shots from the charity stripe.

Troy (12-10, 7-3 SBC) picked up their first-ever victory at the Super Pit and just their second ever win over the Mean Green. North Texas dropped to 12-8 on the year and 5-4 in the Sun Belt.

Richard Delk got a hand on Josh White’s three-point attempt and then raced to the offensive end of the floor and nailed a game-opening three-pointer and a 3-0 Trojans lead.

Hazzard hit his first two three-pointers to open up an 11-4 lead for the Trojans in the first 4:30 of the game, but North Texas answered back with back-to-back buckets including two inside by George Odufuwa. Delk halted a 7-0 North Texas run with a two inside after White had tied the game on a wing trey.

White hit another three to put North Texas on top 14-13. The bucket put the Trojans behind for the first time since late in the game against ULM three games ago.

Telfair made a quick impact off the bench for Troy grabbing three rebounds and scoring four points in his two minutes of playing time. His fourth point gave the Trojans a 18-17 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Odufuwa grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in for two and a four-point lead, but Michael Vogler answered with a lay-up in traffic to cut the lead to just two, 22-20. Telfair added four more points to give Troy back a lead at 26-24 with six minutes to go.

Eric Tramiel sank a pair of free throws to put his team back on top, but Hazzard was able to get a lay-in to throw Troy back on top. The teams completed the eighth lead change after Tramiel hit another pair, then Antywan Jones hit a long jumper just inside the arc for a 34-33 Troy halftime lead. Jones tied a career-high with 10 points.

Hazzard and Delk scored back-to-back baskets to give the Trojans a three-point lead, but Tramiel scored in the post to make it 44-43 with 16 minutes remaining. Tristan Thompson converted a three-point play to tie the game with 14:21 to go.

Two free throws from Brandon Hazzard gave the Trojans a five-point advantage with just less than 12 minutes remaining. Hazzard got a run-out lay-in after a Delk steal for a 58-51 lead.

Adam McCoy drilled a three to cut the Trojans lead down to two, but Vogler answered back with a post-up fall away jumper. Odufuwa tied the game again on two free throws and the Mean Green took the lead 64-62 on a Colin Dennis lay-up with 7:02 to go.

Tom Jervis missed a close jumper, but got his own rebound and laid it in to tie the game at 64, but McCoy hit another three-pointer to retake the lead and after Hazzard split a pair from the stripe UNT held a two-point lead with 4:24 remaining.

With 3:10 left in the second half Delk went to the line and cut the lead to one point by splitting a pair. Jervis got a block on defense and then Vogler found him for a dunk to give Troy a one-point lead, 70-69.

Vogler had a great all-around game with eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists

Kenny Ware had missed his last nine three point attempts, but with 1:37 to go he found the bottom of the net from the corner to give Troy a two-possession lead 73-69.

With 40 seconds to go Jervis picked up another block forcing McCoy to over power a lay-up attempt and the Trojans got the ball back. Hazzard got the ball into the front court and after a foul he sank a pair from the line for a six point lead.

The Trojans are in action next at Trojan Arena on Saturday when they host Denver. Tip-off for that game is set for 7:30 pm.