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Hazzard scores 30, Trojans win again

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Brandon Hazzard scored 30 points as the Troy Trojans increased their win streak to eight games with a 78-63 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday night at FAU Arena.

Hazzard finished the game with a career-high 30 points, including 15 in the second half to lead the Trojans back from a four-point deficit after halftime. The junior hit 4-of-5 3-pointers and 11-of-15 shots from the field.

“Brandon was just feeling it tonight,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “He had a great game. The team as a whole came out and played with a real purpose. I think the game meant more to us tonight than it meant to Florida Atlantic.”

“Thank goodness our defense came up big in the second half. Our zone did a great job. Tom Jervis came in and created a lot of problems for them. He also had a couple of big buckets including a long jumper when they played off of him one time.”

Jervis finished the game with nine points and seven rebounds.

“Next week is now a basketball week in Troy. That has not happened in four years. If we plan on having success in either one we are going to have to have an “A” game from every one of our players. This game tonight made me really nervous because I really wanted us to have momentum going into the games we are going to play in Troy, Alabama next week,” Maestri said.

The victory guarantees the Trojans (15-10, 10-3 SBC) a winning record in the Sun Belt for the first time and at least a .500 overall record for the first time since 2004-05 season. The last time Troy posted a winning record in conference play was the 2003-04 season when they were still a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Florida Atlantic (5-20, 1-12 SBC) went on a 13-6 rally to pull within two points at 30-28, but Vogler answered with a 3-pointer to give the Trojans a 33-28 lead with 4:30 to go in the first half.

Richardson hit a three-ball to give FAU their first lead of the night, and Paul Graham III hit a three for a four-point Owls lead, 40-36. Jervis cut the lead to two with a pair of free throws and Hazzard tied the game at 40 with a fall-away jumper as the buzzer sounded to go into halftime.

FAU opened the second half with four offensive rebounds that resulted in four points as they opened up a 44-40 lead. Hazzard came up with a steal and a 3-pointer to cut the FAU lead to 47-45 with 16 minutes to go.

Troy tied it at 52-52 on a Jervis jumper from 17 feet out and tied the game after the seven-footer fought off three defenders down low and converted a three-point play for a 55-52 advantage with 12:30 to go.

Hazzard got a trey and his second three-point play for a 10 point Trojans lead, 63-53. Mario Telfair’s two inside gave Troy their largest lead of the night, 16 points, at 71-55 with 4:30 left in the game.

Delk was the only other Troy player to score double-figures. He finished with 10. Vogler scored nine points with six assists.

Eight consecutive wins is the most in a row for Troy since they won 13 straight during the 2003-04 season. That year the Trojans finished 24-7 and won the A-Sun regular season title.

The Trojans are in action next on Thursday when they host Middle Tennessee at Trojan Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.