Kelton Ford’s late free throws push Trojans past Sun Belt foe UT-Arlington

Published 3:35 am Tuesday, February 3, 2015

With under three seconds to play in the game, Kelton Ford hit a pair of free throws to power the Troy men’s basketball team past UT-Arlington, 55-54 Saturday night at College Park Center.

John Walton III led the Trojans (8-12, 3-8) as he scored a career-high 18 points and collected 10 rebounds — his second career double-double.

Wesley Person recorded his 17th career game in double figures, scoring 13 points including three baskets from beyond the 3-point arc.

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Troy enjoyed a lucrative night from the free thrown line, including Ford’s two late free throws, the Trojans shot 80 percent — 20-of-25 — from behind the line, which ended up being the difference in the game Saturday night.

It was tough sledding for Troy throughout the whole game. The Trojans trailed by as many as 10 in the game, but continued to find a way to stay in the contest.

To open the second half, the Mavericks (12-9, 6-5) enjoyed a 10-point lead over the Trojans.

But a 12-3 run, thanks in large part to free throws from Walton, got Troy right back in the game at 12:57 of the second half, down 37-36.

With 5:57 to play in the half and trailing 49-41, Troy orchestrated yet another run, this time a 10-0 streak that helped them secure their first lead of the game since the 11:24 mark of the first half.

But momentum quickly swung back in favor of UT-Arlington as the Mavericks wrestled the lead back once again, a 52-51 margin with 2:03 to go in the game.

With just three seconds to go in the game and trailing 54-53, Ford was fouled and subsequently sank both of his free throws, securing the lead for good for the Trojans.

Saturday night marked the first time in six games that Troy fell behind going into halftime.

UT-Arlington had the edge from the field Saturday, shooting 35 percent from the floor to Troy’s 31 percent.

The Mavericks were led by Greg Gainey, who scored 15 points on the night. Kaelon Wilson collected a team-high eight rebounds and UT-Arlington’s leading scorer, Lonnie McClanahan, was held to just 10 points on 2-of-6 shooting.

With the win, Troy snaps its four-game losing streak.