Troy drops Trojan Classic opener to Sam Houston

Published 9:20 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (2-3) lost the opener of the Trojan Classic on Monday to the Sam Houston Bearkats by a score of 88-86 in overtime.

Sam Houston was coming off a Friday upset over Ole Miss and kept its momentum going by besting Troy at Trojan Arena. This was the second game already this season that Troy has played in overtime.

After jumping out to a big lead with a 12-0 run to open the game, and took a 42-33 lead into halftime. After shooting 59.3 percent from the field in the first half, Troy only shot 39.1 percent in the second half and also turned the ball over 24 times. Ultimately Sam Houston utilized a 13-0 run late in the game to force overtime. Sam Houston won the overtime 10-8 to secure the win.

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“We turned it over 24 times. They had 17 steals. That means we’re throwing the ball to the other team 17 times,” Troy Coach Scott Cross said. “You can’t win that way. We’ve done everything in our power in practice to prevent that. We subbed some guys out today to try to emphasize the points, but until they learn the value of taking care of the basketball, it’s going to be hard to win games. We were hitting shots today, so we forgot what it took when we weren’t hitting shots — playing great defense and rebounding. We forgot about those. Sam Houston did not. They were the tougher team.”

Christyon Eugene led Troy with 15 points, five assists, eight rebounds and three steals, while Aamer Muhammad added 13 points, three assists and two rebounds.

Both Thomas Down and Myles Rigsby added 11 points each. Dowd also grabbed eight rebounds and Rigsby earned three assists, four rebounds and three steals. Marcus Rigsby Jr. scored 10 points, as well.

Troy will close out the Trojan Classic on Friday at 4 p.m. against Grambling State in a game that will stream on ESPN+.