Rebels stop late Troy surge, top Trojans 74-64

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, November 18, 2014

By Sean Holohan

Troy shot just 32 percent from the field and was out-rebounded 42-28 as they fell to SEC opponent Ole Miss 74-64 in the Trojans’ “whiteout” at Trojan Arena Monday night.

Ole Miss senior guard Jarvis Summers led the Rebels with 21 points and five assists and LaDarius White and Stefan Moody both added 14 points. The Rebels (1-1) went 50 percent from the field on 30-of-50 shooting.

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Trojan freshman Wesley Person had the best game of his short collegiate career, scoring 25 points, both a game and team high. Senior forward Kevin Thomas recorded the game’s only double-double with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Both teams got off to a rough offensive start Monday night. The first basket of the game didn’t come until the 18-minute mark of the first half and each team committed eight turnovers before the half.

The Trojans (1-1) tied the score at 2-2 early in the first half after a Kevin Thomas layup, but that was the closest the Trojans would come all night to a lead.

After two free throws by Person pulled Troy to within two points at the 7:26 mark of the first half, the Trojans surrendered a 9-0 run to the Rebels, who ultimately finished the first half up 34-23.

Troy came out hot from the field early in the second half as Person sank a three-pointer on the Trojans’ first possession of the half.

But turnovers burned Troy, as the Trojans committed two quick turnovers in a row, leading to four points by Ole Miss to go up 42-32 early in the second half.

The Trojans stayed to within 11 points of the Rebels for most of the second half, but made a run with under two minutes to go in the game when Person made three free throws followed by a three pointer to complete a 6-0 run that put the Trojans to within nine points with under two minutes to go.

But missed shots and turnovers again proved the undoing of the Trojans, as Ole Miss pushed the lead back to 10, icing the game with two made free throws from White.

“The first thing we told our team when we walked into the locker room is you guys don’t worry, we’re going to be fine,” Troy head coach Phil Cunningham said. “You (the team) showed tonight with your effort and your toughness that we’re going to be fine.”

Troy will travel to Athens, Ga. Friday to face SEC opponent Georgia. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.