Late Rally Not Enough As Troy Falls 70-62 To No. 8 Kentucky

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Troy Athletics

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Troy went on a late run to bring it to within eight on the road against No. 8 Kentucky, but it wasn’t enough in the end as the Trojans fell 70-62 in Rupp Arena on Monday night.

After trailing by as much as 21, Troy went on a ferocious rally led by strong defense that held the Wildcats without a point from the 8:25 mark of the second half until 4:19 remained.

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Just like in Hawai’i, Troy began the rally with a 3-pointer by Wesley Person just under the 10-minute mark. From there, it was Troy’s trio of guards in Person, Kevin Baker and B.J. Miller along with forward Jordon Varnado that continued to chip away at the lead.

Back-to-back baskets by Varnado cut the deficit to 12 with 4:54 to play. Miller then knocked down two free throws and assisted on a Baker three to get the lead down to single-digits at nine for the first time since the 3:09 mark of the first half.

Kentucky scored just one basket in the final 2:46 to provide Troy the opportunity to stun the Wildcats and earn the program’s first win over a ranked opponent. Instead, the Trojans were only able to get one more basket and a free throw in the closing minutes to lock in the eight-point defeat.

“We are just extremely proud of how we fought back,” head coach Phil Cunningham said. “This is certainly a game we could have hung our heads about and given up on the way we were shooting, but we hung around and got it all the way down to eight.

“Their length and their quickness on the perimeter were a factor because once you think you’ve got an open shot they close the gap and it becomes a contested shot. Again, I’m just really proud of our guys for never giving up in a tough situation. We popped back and had a chance to get them a little scared there at the end.”

Troy will move on to the second game of the Adolph Rupp Classic with a matchup against East Tennessee State on Wednesday in Johnson City, Tenn.