Troy rolls to easy victory over Southern Mississippi

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Submitted photo The Troy Trojans picked up their first ever win over Southern Mississippi Tuesday night

Submitted photo
The Troy Trojans picked up their first ever win over Southern Mississippi Tuesday night inside Trojan Arena.

The Troy Trojans improved their record against Conference USA to 2-1 and their overall record to 4-3 with a 69-59 win Tuesday over the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

“That was a win we needed right there,” said Troy head coach Phil Cunningham. “We challenged our guys when we got back from Texas that our next step as a team is build some momentum and prove that we could string some wins together.”

The win for the Trojans over the Eagles was the first in program history.

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The Trojans have struggled shooting the ball from the outside. Jeremy Hollimon, the junior leaned on for providing those outside points, had shot just 13 percent from behind the arc heading into Tuesday night and 24 percent overall from the field. Those averages went up on Tuesday, as Hollimon finished with 14 points and went 4-9 from behind the arc.

“I was about 0-30 to start the season off, so it felt good to finally make some tonight,” Hollimon said. “I needed to get into a rhythm and get my confidence back.”

The Trojans jumped out to an early 13-0 lead as the Trojans took advantage of the 0-5 Eagles’ early-game struggles.

“They struggle at beginning of games,” Cunningham said. “Eventually that team is not going to have a slow start like that. We were just hoping it wasn’t going to happen tonight. If you want to point to one thing that led to the win, that start was the number one thing.”

The Eagles pulled within four points, but a 15-5 run by Troy late in the half gave the Trojans a 31-17 lead.

In the second half, freshman Jordan Varnado and the Trojan offense jumped out to their biggest lead of the game when they went up 66-44.

The Trojans shot 13-38 from behind the arc dwarfing the season average of 24 attempts.

“I think in the first half we may have taken too many three’s,” Cunningham said. “We really emphasized at halftime to get the ball moving better. I thought we were better in the second half.”

Varnado led the Trojans in scoring with 17 points. Hollimon and Wesley Person also finished in double figures with 14 and 12 points.

The Trojans will return home Saturday afternoon to take on Austin Peay. Tip is scheduled for noon.