Tart and Sartain-gy

Published 10:12 pm Friday, January 20, 2012

South Alabama forward DeAndre Hersey (24) blocks a shot by Troy forward Tim Owens (42) during an NCAA college basketball game in Troy, Ala., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Trojans aim to end four game skid on home floor

Troy head coach Don Maestri said after Thursday’s 88-67 loss to Florida Atlantic that he could tell more about players when things aren’t going their way than when things are.

Things are definitely not going the Trojans way right now, at least not in their home arena.

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Troy (6-11, 1-5) has lost four consecutive games in Sartain Hall for the first time since 1986-87 and has fallen into a tie with Western Kentucky for last in the Sun Belt East Division.

“We’ve normally played really well at home,” Maestri said after the loss to FAU. “I don’t think you can duck your head. We have to keep searching for answers and find a way to get out of this.”

Troy was 4-3 heading into its non-conference match with No. 17 Mississippi State where they were beaten 106-68. Since that time the Trojans are 2-8 with few signs of sustained improvement.

“You can’t feel sorry yourself,” Maestri said. “You’ve got to bow up, come back out, go to work and try to change it.

I told the guys forget a 20-point lead; let’s see if we can’t play good basketball. We haven’t play good basketball consistently in a while now.”

Troy’s struggles correlate, in part, with point guard Will “Mo” Weather’s nagging ankle injury. The junior has averaged over 10 points all season but has scored just 18 points in the last four games.

“Mo will be ok,” guard Emil Jones said. “We talked before (the Florida Atlantic game), there’s not a doubt in my mind Mo will get back into form.”

Guard Justin Wright, who scored nine points against the Owls on Thursday and is averaging 10.2 a game, feels that the team is somewhat responsible for Weathers’ play.

“We haven’t hit shots as a team,” Wright said. “We’ve got to start hitting shots and he’ll be there.”

11 of 12 teams make the Sun Belt Conference tournament and tonight’s opponent, Louisiana-Monroe, is ineligible this year so Troy locked up a spot by simply taking the court this season. The Trojans, however, are looking to build some momentum heading in to the final month of the regular season.

“We’ve got to stop this losing streak,” Jones said. “We got to come out and find a way to get a big win at home.”

Louisiana-Monroe has defeated Nicholls State and Florida International this season.

The Warhawks come into tonight’s 7:30 p.m. tip 2-18 overall and 1-6 in Sun Belt play.