Troy losing streak extended to five

Published 11:41 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

MONTGOMERY – The head scratching for Troy began around the 11:27 mark of Thursday’s 74-68 loss to a previously winless Alabama State team at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome in Montgomery. At that point, Troy trailed 64-44 and everything was bouncing the Hornets way.

Though Troy pulled within six, the Trojans were never in the game and head coach Don Maestri made his team very aware of his dissatisfaction on the bench near the end of the contest.

“I kind of imposed my will on them in the last 12 minutes of the game, which is something some of them aren’t really used to. But, if they can’t take me, they surely can’t take the Sun Belt Conference,” Maestri said.

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The Trojans (4-7) have now lost five straight since starting the year 4-2 and the schedule isn’t getting any easier as Georgia State visits Trojan Arena on Saturday, then a trip to face Utah Valley on Dec. 19. Troy then returns to Sun Belt Conference play at home against Florida Atlantic on Dec. 27.

The loss marks the worst skid since the Trojans lost nine straight at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.

The Hornets (1-7) started the game red-hot shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 66.7 from three-point range in the first half.

“They came out shooting the ball well and put us in a hole,” junior Hunter Williams said. “We fought until the very end, but just couldn’t get back in the game.”

Williams, who entered the game Troy’s leading scorer with 11.0 points per game, could manage just nine points on Thursday and took just three shots in the first half.“They put some pressure on us early,” Williams said. “That’s something we’ve got to get past. We’ve got to find a way to make plays.”

Tevin Calhoun led the Trojans with 13 points. Deonata Jethroe finished with 11.

Troy last lead came with 10:59 in the first half when Calhoun hit a three-point jumper to put the Trojans up 22-19.

Alabama State came roaring back, scoring the game’s next 10 points. The Hornets went on another 10-0 run to start the second half.

“For four-and-a-half minutes in the second half we didn’t score a point. You can’t win that way,” Maestri said. “It’s another learning experience for this group. They haven’t won one of those types of games yet. There is no doubt we have to get tougher. This is a nice group of young men, but when you get out on that court you can’t be nice to your opponent.”

Troy finished the game shooting 35 percent (21-60) from the field and just 29 percent (9-31) from three-point range.

“The three-point shot is a big part of our game,” Maestri said. “We’ve got to get better and we’ve got to get a lot tougher.”

Troy hosts Georgia State on Saturday. The game is set for a 7 p.m. tip. The women’s team hosts Alabama at 2 p.m. the same day.