Trojans can’t handle MTSU at home

Published 10:48 pm Thursday, January 5, 2012

The second half continued to cause Troy problems as the Trojans dropped their third consecutive conference game, 63-53, to Middle Tennessee State.

The Trojans (5-9, 0-3) shot just 38 percent for the game and struggled stringing shots together the entire game.

Middle Tennessee came into Thursday’s contest shooting 51.2 percent from the field, good for second best in the nation.

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“Defensively, that was the best we’ve defended Middle Tennessee,” head coach Don Maestri said. “We did a great job of defending (LaRon) Dendy and holding him to single digits.”

Dendy came in the game averaging 14.7 points per game but managed just seven against the Trojans.

Troy took their only lead early in the game, 3-2, on a R.J. Scott three-pointer. From there, the Trojans would trail by as many as ten in the first half.

The Blue Raiders made the difference in the paint, outrebounding Troy 45-33.

Maestri wasn’t totally displeased with the team’s performance.

Tim Owens blocked six shots on the night, a career high.

“Owens gave them trouble all night,” Maestri said. “I thought he did a wonderful job defending tonight.”

Scott led the Trojans with 13 points followed by Daronte Clark, starting for the second consecutive game, with 12.

Point guard Will Weathers played 38 minutes despite an injured ankle and coming off a battle with a cold.

“I just have to fight through it,” Weathers said. “I’ve got to be there for my team. They’re going to have to cut both my legs off to keep me out of the game.”

Troy pulled to within six late in the second half but watched as Middle Tennessee State went on an 11-2 run to finish off the Trojans.

Troy will return to action against Western Kentucky on the road on Saturday who is 5-11 and 1-2 in the Sun Belt.