Trojans drop ULM in overtime

Published 10:45 am Thursday, February 23, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (18-12, 10-7) men’s basketball team bested the ULM Warhawks (11-19, 7-10) by a score of 82-78 in overtime on the road on Wednesday.

The win marked Troy’s fifth in the last six games and kept the Trojans at fifth place in the Sun Belt with an opportunity to move into fourth place before the Sun Belt Tournament next week, which would give Troy a double bye in the first two rounds.

With less than four minutes left in regulation, Troy led 64-56 but ULM went on an 8-0 run to tie the score with 1:31 left. Troy’s Nelson Phillips knocked down a jumper to put Troy ahead 66-64 with 1:05 left and then he converted a free throw with 46 seconds left to extend the lead to 67-64. With just 10 seconds remaining in regulation, ULM’s Tyreke Locure knocked down a three-pointer to send the game into overtime. In overtime, Phillips led Troy to a 6-0 run and owned the extra time, outscoring ULM 15-11 in overtime.

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“We knew it was going to be tough,” Troy coach Scott Cross said. “They didn’t play their best against South (Alabama), so you knew with them being back home that they were going to come out swinging. We didn’t come out with the right defensive mentality in the first half, but I hopped on them during halftime.

“Aamer and Christian (Turner) really turned the game around defensively. We call Turner ‘Big 30’ because he gives us such a big lift on defense. Until late in the second half, we were holding them to 18 percent (shooting) from the field. Our guys pulled it out in overtime. This was big for our program because we lost one similar to this earlier against James Madison. So, for our guys to pull it out on the road is big, and I’m appreciative of them for that.”

Zay Williams finished the night with 16 points and 12 rebounds to earn a double-double, while Christyon Eugene tallied 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Aamer Muhammad added 14 points and four assists along with Phillips’ 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Kieffer Punter also scored eight points. ULM was led by Locure’s 33 points and eight rebounds.