Troy men defeat Nicholls State at buzzer

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Musa Abdul-Aleem would not be denied.

After weathering a seven-point halftime deficit and several second-half runs from Nicholls State Sunday night, Troy had fought back to within one point.

And with nine seconds to go in the game, Abdul-Aleem made his move.

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After taking a Chris Bilbo pass, Abdul-Aleem drove to the basket, but missed.

Immediately, Abdul-Aleem rebounded his own miss then buried his second layup through the net with no time remaining in the game to give Troy the dramatic comeback victory over the Colonels, 65-64.

Abdul-Aleem finished with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds to give him his first double-double as a Trojan.

Freshman Wesley Person and senior Kevin Thomas also chipped in with 10 points each for the Trojans.

After falling behind 32-25 at halftime, Troy came out in the second half looking to make a dent in the Nicholls State lead.

But the Colonels had other ideas, going on a 9-2 run to open the half, extending their lead to 14 just minutes into the second half.

In a mostly back-and-forth second half, Troy responded, going on a 16-2 run of its own to tie the game at 43-43.

Troy outscored Nicholls State 40-32 in the second half, including 20-12 in the paint and 9-4 on second-chance attempts, including Abdul-Aleem’s game-winning putback layup.

Sunday’s victory marked the 1,000th win for the Troy men’s basketball program.

Amin Torres came off the bench for Nicholls State and led the team with 16 points, while Sam McBeath led the team with six rebounds.

The Colonels lost despite shooting 50 percent from the field in the second half.

Both teams finished the game shooting an identical 40.7 percent from the field.

Troy out-shot Nicholls State from 3-point range and from the free throw line, shooting 29.4 percent and 66.7 percent, respectively.

Troy will now prepare for its conference opener on Dec. 30 when they host Texas State.