Troy falls to WKU at home

Published 2:44 pm Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Troy Trojans were unable to convert on several second-half opportunities, and fell to Western Kentucky 60-51 Saturday at Trojan Arena.

Troy cut the Hilltopper lead to six with 31 seconds to go, following a rally that saw the Trojans chip away at 16-point second-half deficit. Troy would then steal the inbounds pass, but Kelton Ford couldn’t get a lay up to fall.

Western’s Trency Jackson pulled down the rebound and Troy never got closer.

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Troy head coach Phil Cunningham, a former assistant for the Hilltoppers, said his team was in the game until the ‘Toppers went on a run early in the second half.

“I felt like the game got away from us early in the second half,” Cunningham said. “Up until that point, we had gone toe-to-toe with them. We matched their toughness early, but they hit us in the mouth there early, and we didn’t respond well.”

Troy opened the game missing its first 13 shots from the floor while Western Kentucky built an early 9-0 lead. The Trojans would scratch away at the lead the rest of the first half, and go to the lockerrom down 21-17.

Troy didn’t get on the board until Antione “Fresh” Myers hit a layup with 13:29 to go in the first half.

“We were just rushing our shots,” said Troy forward Tevin Calhoun. “I think a lot of us were trying initiate the contact, and we were just not getting the whistle. But that is no excuse, we still have to finish.”

Calhoun’s teammate agreed.

“I think there was a lid on it to start the game,” said Troy guard Jeff Mullahey. “Everything was just going in and out. I can’t really explain that. “

With the loss, Troy falls to 5-9 overall, and 0-2 in Sun Belt play.

Despite the rough start to conference play, Cunningham and staff aren’t panicking yet.

“We have played two of the best teams in the league right off the bat,” Cunningham said. “Hopefully the schedule will come back around some, but it won’t get any easier this week. We just have to keep working. It is a one-day process for us right now.”

Troy returns to action on Thursday at Arkansas State in Jonesboro.