Troy men look to keep conference tournament hopes alive Thursday against Arkansas State

Published 3:34 am Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The suffering finally came to an end Saturday night for the Troy men’s basketball team in their nail-biting 55-54 win over UT-Arlington.

The Trojans (8-12, 3-8), who had lost four games in a row and six of their previous seven games, were grasping for anything to stop their free fall through the Sun Belt Conference.

But Saturday against the Mavericks, Troy finally got off the schneid and positioned themselves to make a possible run at a conference tournament berth.

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Currently, Troy sits at 10th place in the conference.

In the Sun Belt, the top eight teams will be eligible to go to New Orleans.

With Appalachian State ineligible in their first year with the Sun Belt, that means Troy must move up one more spot in the conference standings.

Lo and behold, there sits Arkansas State.

Thursday night, Troy will face off with the Red Wolves in a battle for the final conference tournament seed.

The two teams are familiar with each other as Arkansas State won just one and a half weeks ago against Troy in a game the Trojans all but gave away.

But Thursday night with fresh legs and a morale boost coming off of their win against UT-Arlington, Troy will get another crack at the Red Wolves.

On Jan. 24, the last time the two teams met, Troy had victory within their grasps only to see their lead quickly dissolve in the second half as fatigue from a five-game stretch set in.

The Trojans proved they could score in the game as three Troy players finished the night scoring in double digits.

But Arkansas State traded blow for blow with Troy, pulling ahead at the end of the game to win by nine.

Thursday night, Troy’s scorers will have to have a duplicate performance.

Musa Abdul-Aleem leads the Trojans in scoring, averaging 15.2 points a game, but has been mostly absent in Troy’s last two games.

And Wesley Person, who leads Troy with 55 3-pointers will have to have more of that same production if the Trojans want to finish what they couldn’t last time against the Red Wolves.

Tip off Thursday night is set for 7:30.