Troy squeaks by
MIAMI, Fla. — The Troy Trojans found themselves down by double digits at halftime, but a second half surge led them to a 62-61 victory over Florida International University Wednesday night in Sun Belt Conference action.
Alyce Shearing led the way for Troy (13-13, 8-8 Sun Belt) with 21 points, on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Kylie Morrissy chipped in with 19 points, including hitting 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the victory.
“We needed someone to step up and make plays,” Troy coach Michael Murphy said. “Alyce did what she does best, and that is make shots. She makes shots because she puts in the effort everyday to get better. All that hard work came to fruition tonight.”
Michelle Gonzalez led FIU (6-20, 4-11) with a game-high 27 points, including connecting on 7-of-10 3-pointers.
The Trojans suffered through a poor shooting first half, connecting on just 39.1 (9-of-23) percent from the floor, and watched as three of their leaders went to the bench with two personal fouls in the opening half.
They trailed 35-24 at the intermission.
However, they came out quick and deadly in the opening minutes of the second half. Troy outscored FIU 27-6 to start the second half and took a 51-41 lead with 4:07 to play in the contest.
“We found ourselves down by 11 at a place we have never won,” Murphy said. “The come back that we were able to pull of tonight shows the character of this team this season.”
The lead would stay double digits for most of the second half before Gonzalez took things in to her own hands in the final 67 seconds. After a pair of Larelle Roper free throws pushed the lead to 57-47 with 1:14 to play in the contest, Gonzalez hit the first of her four 3-pointers in the final 67 seconds to trim the lead to 57-50.
Troy continued to make free throws, but none bigger than the two from Morrissy with just 11 seconds remaining. The senior knocked down two free throws to push the Trojan lead to 62-58, before Gonzalez hit another three with 4.6 seconds remaining to make it a one-point game at 62-61. FIU was unable to foul or get a steal in the final seconds, allowing Troy to escape with their first-ever victory at U.S. Century Bank Arena.
Troy returns to action next Wednesday night on the road at Louisiana-Lafayette.
The game is set to tip at 7 p.m.