Troy falls in Sartain’s final game (video/photos)

Published 10:54 pm Saturday, February 18, 2012

Troy and Arkansas Little Rock players go up for the tip-off of an NCAA college basketball game in Troy, Ala., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

With the flip of a switch, assistant sports information director Matt Mays cut the lights after a basketball game in Sartain Hall for the last time.

After 50 years of service, Sartain’s time is finished. The arena, which has served as the home for men’s and women’s basketball as well as women’s volleyball, will be decommissioned. The facility will still be used for special events and by the student body for the time being but the athletic¬† programs will move to the new $38 million Trojan Arena next season.

“My emotional moment will come later,” Maestri said. “It’s all about memories and relationships. I am a lucky person to be a basketball coach. It makes you feel good to see as many former players here as we had tonight.”

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While Don Maestri was grateful for the 2,239 that attended the contest despite less than ideal weather, the Trojans head coach said he is more appreciative of the personal bonds he has built in his time at Sartain.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A VIDEO TRIBUTE TO SARTAIN HALL

The Trojans fell Arkansas-Little Rock in Sartain’s curtain call, 74-62, in overtime.

Troy could have sent the healthy crowd home with a smile but the Sun Belt’s second best team had other ideas. UALR (14-14, 11-3) took its first lead with 2:55 remaining. Troy would fall behind by as many as four before Justin Wright tied the game with nine seconds left with a pair of free throws.

Arkansas Little-Rock would heat up in overtime, jumping ahead on the back of an 8-0 run. Troy could not answer UALR’s hot shooting as the visitors converted 4-of-5 tries in the extra period and was 8-for-8 from the line.

Alan Jones scored a team-high 17 points as he shot 6-for-15 on the night.

The Trojans say farewell to Sartain Hall with a 6-7 home record. Troy has seen only nine non-winning seasons under the roof of the arena.

“We did everything but win the game,” head coach Don Maestri said. “We played as hard and as emotional as we could. The crowd had a lot to do with it being the last game.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO GALLERY

CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO CLIPS FROM THE GAME

While Troy has two games remaining on its regular season schedule, the concentration will be capitalizing on its opportunity in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament which begins March 3.

The Trojans travel to Florida International on Feb. 23.