Jaguars outlast Troy in Sun Belt tourney

Published 11:15 pm Monday, March 9, 2009

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — South Alabama outscored Troy 41-34 in the second half to pull off the quarterfinal upset 78-75 on Sunday night in the 2009 Sun Belt Championship.

The loss drops Troy to 19-12 on the season and potentially ends the Troy careers of four seniors. The loss also drops Troy to 2-4 all-time in the Sun Belt Conference tournament, and 0-3 in the quarterfinals of the event.

Troy was 2-0 versus the Jaguars so far this season, but head coach Don Maestri did not believe the third game was any different than the previous two.

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“I don’t think it makes any difference,” he said. “I don’t care how many times you play it’s going to be tough. I think they played very well tonight and we didn’t play as well as we have the last four or five games.”

After a pair of free throws by Ronald Douglas, Brandon Hazzard drilled a trey to cut USA’s lead to 75-71 with less than two minutes to go.

Hazzard finished with a game-high 22 points. For his efforts he was named State Farm Player of the Game.

Tom Jervis hit a 15-foot jumper to slice the Jaguar lead down to two points.

Troy fouled DeAndre Coleman, sending him to the line and Coleman hit both for a 77-73 lead.

South Alabama missed four free throws with less than 30 seconds left.

Mike Vogler missed a desperation three attempt, potentially ending the Trojans season.

Troy will now wait to see if an invitation is extended for any postseason play.