Trojan’s struggles continue, lose to Florida Atlantic

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Troy men’s basketball team fell for the seventh time in eight games as Florida Atlantic defeated the Trojans, 61-54, Thursday night at Trojan Arena.

The Trojans (5-9, 0-3 Sun Belt) shot just 28.3 percent from the field and continue to look for ways to avoid the long scoring droughts that have plagued them over the most recent stretch.

“We have a lot of great doctors in this town, what we need right now is a shot doctor,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “I don’t know if there is an answer right now. These guys just have to shoot out of it.”

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The Trojans have been competitive in the majority of their losses. In their last seven defeats, Troy has lost by an average of 6.6 points.

The Trojans didn’t help themselves on Thursday, missing several open looks including many from three-point range. Troy made just 2 of 15 shots from range in the second half.

“We got so many open looks and just didn’t make them. Three-point shots and lay ups,” Maestri said. “We’ve got to find a way to get the ball in the basket better if we plan on having a chance to win in this league.”

Troy’s R.J. Scott made back-to-back three’s with the second coming at the 9:09 mark in the first half to build the Trojans early lead to 19-9.

After Florida Atlantic scored the game’s next six points, Scott hit his third deep ball of the game.

From there, the Owls would chip away before starting an 18-0 run with 2:08 remaining in the half. Troy would not make a field goal until the 16:34 mark in the second half.

The Trojans trailed by as many as 13 with 17:35 left, but late in the game would make a push.

Down 46-35, Troy began to chip away at the Owls. Antoine Myers would make a lay up and a pair of jumpers to cut the deficit to six, 48-42.

Troy attempted to slow the game down, but Florida Atlantic’s Greg Gantt sank six of eight free throws down the stretch to keep the Owls in front.

Gantt, who needed just four points in the game to become Florida Atlantic’s all-time leading scorer, finished the game with 26 points.

Myers would lead the Trojans with 18 points and five rebounds. Scott was the only other Troy player in double figures, scoring 10 points to go along with five rebounds.

Despite the loss, Maestri said he was proud of the way his team played defensively late in the contest.

“We gave ourselves a chance. If we make a basket, we cut it six points. If we make another one, it’s a totally different game,” he said. “We just couldn’t make a shot when we needed one.”

Troy will hit the road in search of its first conference win as they take on North Texas on Jan.3.

Wright likely out for season

Troy senior guard Justin Wright said on Thursday that he is likely done for the season after injuring his right knee against Alabama State on Dec. 13.

Wright is set to undergo surgery on the knee today and his recovery time is unknown.

Maestri said the procedure will be similar to the one was done on Wright’s left knee on Sept. 13.

The first procedure was to repair a partially torn meniscus. Doctors then found a micro-fracture that had gone undetected.

Wright played in just five games this season and was averaging just three points in 12.4 minutes per game. He plans to apply for a medical redshirt.