Trojans give new arena test run, defeat Alaska-Anchorage

Published 11:02 pm Monday, November 5, 2012

As Troy christened its new arena in an exhibition game against Alaska-Anchorage, fans got a chance to not only view the fully functional Trojan Arena but also get a preview of the 2012-13 basketball team.

Troy knocked off its foes from the far northwest, 61-57, as both teams got a chance to see the majority of its roster.

The standout of the night was junior newcomer Hunter Williams, who was the game-high scorer with 19 points and four assists.

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Williams, a transfer from the College of Central Florida, tied the game at 57-57 with 4:53 to go with a three-pointer. Williams also extended the Trojan lead and capped scoring with a lay-up with 2:42 remaining.

“I’m not looking for my shot necessarily, I’m looking for the best shot for the team,” Williams said. “I’m just a guy that wants to win.”

Head coach Don Maestri said he was pleased by the play of the team against their Division II opponent.

“I thought we played better in the second half,” he said. “We’ll have to play a lot better Friday if we hope to win that game.”

The Trojans will likely need to shoot better than 36 percent in order to defeat Mississippi State, who graces the floor of Trojan Arena on Friday to open the regular season.

Troy senior Emil Jones, who had 12 point and 10 rebounds on Monday, said the team got the jitters out against Alaska-Anchorage and will be ready to host the first-ever Southeastern Conference team.

I think we got them all out in the first half,” Jones said. “We missed a lot of shots, but played better in the second half.”

Maestri said though the team didn’t play excellent, he learned more about the group he will take into the season.

“(Mississippi State) plays very hard. They have a new coach, who teaches hard-nosed basketball,” he said. “We will have to shoot it better and rebound better.”

Troy out-rebounded Alaska-Anchorage 38-36.

Josh Warren recorded 10 rebounds for Troy, while RJ Scott chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.

Kyle Fossman scored 15 points for Alaska-Anchorage. Abebe Bemissie added 12 points and six rebounds.

Tip off on Friday is set for 7 p.m.