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Troy men come up short in comeback attempt against South Alabama

The Troy men’s basketball team couldn’t complete the comeback attempt against South Alabama despite all five starters scoring in double figures, losing to the Jaguars 71-67 Thursday night at Trojan Arena.

Kevin Thomas recorded his ninth double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and collecting 13 rebounds.

John Walton III also finished with a double-double, the third of his career, scoring 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Kelton Ford pitched in with a game-high 17 points and Musa Abdul-Aleem and Wesley Person scored 11 and 14 points, respectively.

Troy (9-14, 4-10) opened up the game hot offensively, jumping out to a 7-2 lead early in the first half.

After South Alabama tied the game at nine shortly after, the two teams fought back and forth, exchanging leads for the remainder of the half.

Neither team led by more than five in the first half, as the Jaguars (8-17, 6-8) went into the break up 36-34.

The Trojans took their first lead of the game midway through the second half, after an 8-0 run capped by a Thomas 3-pointer gave Troy a 49-46 lead.

South Alabama immedately responded, though, going on a 10-0 run of their own to take the lead back, this time at 59-49.

Down eight points with just over a minute to go in the game, Person did his best to chip away at South Alabama’s lead, scoring four-straight points to cut the Jaguars’ lead to 64-60.

But with 30 seconds to play, South Alabama’s Georgi Boyanov scored on a dunk, putting the game out of reach at 68-62.

South Alabama was led in scoring by Taishaun Johnson who scored 17 points.

Boyanov chipped in with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, including some crucial baskets down the game’s final stretch.

Dionte Ferguson and Ken Williams scored 14 and 13 points, respectively.

South Alabama won the battle in the paint, outscoring Troy 36-26 down low.

Troy shot just 38 percent from the field, while South Alabama shot 49 percent from the field.

Troy continues its homestand as it welcomes UL Lafayette to Trojan Arena on Saturday.