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Second Half Outburst Not Enough, as Trojans Fall to ULM

Troy Athletics

Despite going on 13-6 run late in the second half and scoring 52 overall points, the Troy Trojans men’s basketball program fell to the ULM Warhawks 74-71 Thursday night at Trojan Arena.

The Trojans, who trailed 37-19 with 19:51 remaining in the game, cut the Warhawks lead to just three points twice and to two points once, but couldn’t find the game-tying basket down the stretch.
In defeat, four different Trojans reached double-figures including Nick Stampley who notched his first-career double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Tahj Small who scored 12 points (ties career-high) and grabbed nine rebounds.

The Trojans (9-17, 5-10 Sun Belt Conference) outscored ULM (7-17, 3-12 Sun Belt Conference) 52-40 in the second half behind 55.6 (15-of-27) percent shooting from the field. The Trojans hit 7-of-14 3-pointers in the second period.

Troy opened the game on a mini 9-4 run, hitting 3-of-5 from the field over the first four minutes of play.

The Warhawks then used a 30-10 run over the remaining 15:53 of the half, as Troy shot just 2-of-21 from the field. The run gave ULM a 34-19 advantage at the break.

After a 3-pointer from Tyree White (10 points) gave the visitors a 37-19 advantage just eight seconds into the half, the Trojans responded with an 11-2 run the next 3:22 to cut the ULM lead to just 39-32 with 15:01 remaining.

As they did most of the night, the Warhawks responded, holding Troy to just five points over the next five minutes and 18 seconds to take a 51-37 lead with 8:14 left in the game.

Troy used a quick 10-3 outburst over the next 1:51, highlighted by a Small 3-pointer, that cut the visitors lead to just 54-47 with 6:03 remaining.

Following a 10-4 ULM run that increased the Trojan deficit to 13 (64-51) with just 4:03 remaining, Troy seized the momentum.

Behind a 12-3 run over the next 2:19, the Trojans cut the ULM advantage to just 67-63 with 1:33 remaining. The run featured a pair of and-one opportunities from Stampley and Desmond Williams (8 points, 6 assists).

After a Michael Ertel bucket gave ULM a 69-63 advantage with 1:05 to play, the Trojans answered four seconds later with a KJ Simon 3-pointer (12 points) that cut the deficit to just 69-66.

With the crowd roaring, Stampley slide in and drew a charging foul that turned the ball over to Troy with 30 seconds remaining.

With the shot clock off, Williams had a good look from three that just missed. ULM secured the rebound and Erie Olonade  (14 points) was fouled with nine seconds to play.

Olonade went on to hit both free-throw attempts, giving the visitors a 73-68 lead with nine seconds to go. On the ensuing Trojan possession, Williams nailed a triple that cut the Warhawks lead to 73-71 with four seconds to play.

Out of timeouts, ULM was able to in bound the basketball to Olondae who was fouled just before a tie-up occurred. When the foul was called, the Trojans had the possession arrow, and would have been awarded possession with a couple of seconds to go.

For the Warhawks, four players reached double figures led by Ertle who scored 23 points (16 first half points).

The Trojans return to action Saturday night when Louisiana visits Trojan Arena for a crucial matchup. Troy and the Ragin’ Cajuns are currently tied for the 10th and final Sun Belt playoff spot. Tip-off for the senior night contest is set for 6 p.m.