Trojans snap three-game losing streak

Published 9:22 am Monday, February 6, 2023

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The Troy Trojans men’s basketball (14-11, 6-6) team picked up a much-needed 68-64 win over Texas State (11-14, 4-8) at home on Feb. 4, to break a three-game losing streak.

Troy led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter but a 12-0 Texas State run brought the Bobcats within 58-52 with under five minutes left in the game. After a layup from Zay Williams extended the Troy lead back to 10, Texas State went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 64-59 with 1:47 remaining.

Christyon Eugene knocked down a pair of free throws to extend the Troy lead back to seven only for Texas State to hit a jumper to cut the lead back down to 66-61 with 1:24 left. After Troy missed a jumper, Texas State responded with a three-pointer to cut the lead to 66-64 with 38 seconds left. Williams was fouled with eight seconds left and buried both of his free throw attempts to secure the 68-64 win, however.

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Troy shot 45.3 percent from the field but just 30.4 percent in the second half, while Texas State shot 50 percent in the second half and 42.3 percent for the game. Troy won the rebound battle 34-32 but lost the battle in the paint, as Texas State outscored Troy 28-26 inside. The Trojans also turned the ball over 15 times, which resulted in 23 points off turnovers for Texas State.

“I am thankful for the victory; they’re all hard,” Troy coach Scott Cross said. “Every team in this league is capable of beating us on any given night. Our guys played extremely hard, extremely tough, extremely physical in the first half.

“We were able to get out to a big lead. We shot the ball well, great rebounding, but you know, when you focus on getting stops and rebounding, it’s funny how it’s easier to make shots. Zay was really big for us down the stretch, kind of refused to give in and kind of put us on his back honestly, because we were struggling to score (in the second half), struggling to get a bucket, and he made some big shots for us.”

Williams finished the game with 19 points, seven rebounds and three steals, while Aamer Muhammad scored 12 points and Eugene scored 11 points. Freshman Jackson Fields also grabbed six rebounds in the win.

Troy is back at home this Thursday, Feb. 9, against rival South Alabama at 7:15 p.m. in a doubleheader that sees the girls’ team play at 5:15 p.m., as well.