Trojans win again
Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Troy men’s basketball continued their hot streak in the month of December with their second-straight double-digit victory Saturday with an 85-73 win over Central Arkansas in the final game of the Trojans’ homestand at Trojan Arena.
Carrying momentum from his performance in Troy’s 72-51 win over Alcorn State Dec. 2, Kevin Thomas recorded his second-straight double-double, leading Troy (4-3) with 22 points and 11 rebounds in their victory over the Bears.
Thomas wasn’t the only Trojan with the hot hand Saturday, as Musa Abdul-Aleem shot 7-of-11 from the floor on his way to 19 points. Oskar Reinfelds finished with a career-high 14 points and Wesley Person scored 12. Person has scored 10 points or more in all seven of the Trojans’ games this season.
Despite big numbers from several Troy players Saturday, the Trojans struggled defensively in the first half.
The Bears (0-8) took their first lead of the game early in the first half after Jake Zuilhof scored back-to-back baskets on second chance attempts to give the Bears a 19-16 lead.
The Bears remained hot, going on a 7-0 run late in the first half en route to a 42-39 halftime lead.
It was the most points the Trojans had given up in the first half all season.
But Thomas and company came out strong in the second half, determined to chip away at the Central Arkansas lead.
A Thomas dunk ignited an 8-0 run by Troy that included back-to-back 3-pointers from Abdul-Aleem.
Foul trouble also bit Central Arkansas in the second half. By the 15-minute mark, four Bears starters had at least three fouls. As a result, Zulihof, the leading scorer for the Bears, was sent to the bench for most of the second half.
Troy took advantage of Zulihof’s absence, compiling a run that would give the Trojans a 74-67 lead that they would not relinquish the rest of the game.
The Trojans finished off the game shooting 5-of-7 from the field, clinching the lead and completing the second half comeback.
Central Arkansas was lead in scoring by Jordan Howard, who finished the night with 21 points. Zulihof had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Troy shot 59 percent from the field on the night, including a 60 percent mark in the second half. The Trojans also shot 50 percent from behind the arc in the game.
Troy took advantage of several Central Arkansas mistakes, with 20 of the Trojans’ points in the game coming off of turnovers by the Bears.
Thomas was the anchor for Troy down low as the Trojans outscored Central Arkansas 40-36 in the paint.