‘Beep’ prepared

Published 11:05 pm Thursday, December 22, 2011

Texas-San Antonio forward Stephen Franklin (1) looks for room past Troy guard Alan Jones (11) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Troy, Ala., Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. Texas-San Antonio won 76-70. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Roadrunners outwit Troy, 76-70

A dry spell of nearly four minutes in the second half sunk Troy in their non-conference finale against Texas-San Antonio, 76-70.

Will Weathers hit a jumper to give the Trojans a 53-52 lead with 10:07 remaining in the game but Troy would watch UTSA go on a 7-0 run until Weathers could score again at the 6:31 mark.

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Weathers, who scored 23 points on the night, would also turn the ball over twice down the stretch.

“We played our hardest,” Weathers said. “They hit some big shots and we didn’t get stops like we should have.”

Down by three with 3:19 left, Steven Cunningham, wearing a protective face guard to protect his fractured orbital bone, dove into a crowd of players battling for a loose ball under the UTSA goal. Cunningham’s hustle play paid off as he came up with the ball and called a timeout.

Out of the timeout, Emil Jones found Cunningham, who with a dunk, cut the deficit to just one. The Trojans would force turnovers on the Roadrunners next two possessions but missed shot attempts on the other end.

UTSA would build the lead back to five before Alan Jones landed a three-pointer with just 20 seconds left to make the score 72-70. UTSA made four of four free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game.


“We just missed our open shots and let the back in the game,” head coach Don Maestri said.

“We had a chance to win the game. Our guys are getting ready to go into a tough league so they’re going to have to handle that pressure or they’re going to be disappointed.”

The Trojans fall to 5-6 on the season heading into conference play where they will open with possibly the three best teams in the league –– Denver (9-2), North Texas (6-5) and Middle Tennessee State (10-2).

“Losing is no fun. You don’t enjoy your Christmas as much after you lose,” Maestri said. “We are going to have to be tougher and show more constancy (in league play).”

The Trojans will open league play on the road against Denver (Dec. 29) and North Texas (Dec. 31).

Alan Jones, who finished with 21 points, was 7 of 15 from beyond the arc against UTSA including a stretch of three straight to help the Trojans build a six-point lead heading into halftime.

As a team, Troy shot just 39 percent from three-point range in their 41 attempts. The Trojans attempted only 18 shots inside the arc. UTSA made 52 percent of their overall tries in contrast.

Troy falls to 4-1 at home on the season and 1-3 all-time against UTSA.

The Trojans will take the rest of the week off before returning to prep for Denver next week.