Trojans prep for tough test on road

Published 9:12 am Thursday, January 26, 2012

Following the team’s 91-63 rout of Louisiana-Monroe, Troy men’s basketball team is looking to build on its much-needed victory.

That will be much easier said than done as the Trojans head to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to tangle with Middle Tennessee State.

The Blue Raiders (19-2, 8-0) are tearing through their conference schedule. Middle Tennessee knocked of Troy, 63-53, on Jan. 5 but the Trojans were able to hold the then nation’s fifth best shooting team to just 39 percent in the first meeting.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“We need to go up there and play hard,” guard Justin Wright said after Saturday’s victory. “If we play like we did (against Louisiana-Monroe) we have a real chance.”

That wouldn’t be an unfair assessment. The Trojans had every chance to pull ahead of the Blue Raiders the first time around. Troy pulled to within four with 11:28 remaining in the contest on an Alan Jones three-pointer. The Trojans would suffer through a drought of nearly four minutes, however, before converting another shot. By then, the deficit had been stretched to 10.

Wright’s layup with 6:53 to go cut Middle Tennessee’s lead to six before Raymond Cintron knocked down a pair of trey’s essentially putting the nail in the coffin.

That game also marked the beginning of a rough five game stretch for point guard Will Weathers. Weathers, Troy’s leading scorer with an 11 points per game average, would score just 18 points over that span. It seemed Weathers broke out of his funk against ULM when he picked up his first double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“He played probably the best game I’ve seen him play,” Wright said. “He spearheaded us playing well (against Louisiana-Monroe).”

The Blue Raiders received nine votes in the latest Associated Press poll and have a highly-anticipated matchup with instate foe Vanderbilt two days following the matchup with Troy.

Troy will again look to penetrate the Blue Raiders stingy defense that allows just 59.2 points per game.

The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip and will be broadcast on WTBF 94.7.