Trojans fall to Eastern Kentucky on the road

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Troy Trojans (3-4) hit the road on Monday night and dropped a heartbreaker 77-76 to the Eastern Kentucky Colonels (3-2),

After Eastern Kentucky took an early double-digit lead in the first half, the Trojans continued to struggle and trailed 40-34 at halftime. Led by 56.3 percent shooting from three-point range, in the second half, the Trojans made a run, cutting the Colonel lead to 75-71 with 47 seconds left off a Christyon Eugene three-pointer.

Eugene knocked down a layup with five seconds remaining to cut the lead to 75-73, as well. Eastern Kentucky, though, made both of its ensuing free throws to seal the win. Eugene again knocked down a three-pointer as time expired but it was too little, too late as the Trojans fell 77-76.

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Troy shot 36.2 percent from the field, while Eastern Kentucky shot 44.6 percent for the game. Troy won the boards, outrebounding the Colonels 49-35 but turned the ball over 12 times compared to Eastern Kentucky’s eight turnovers. Eastern Kentucky also won in the paint, outscoring Troy 34-24 for the game.

“Our guys played hard,” Troy Coach Scott Cross said of the loss. “I trust the good Lord and his plan, and it’s just not our time yet. I challenge each and every person in the locker room afterword to look in the mirror and figure out what each of us – starting with me – can do to help this basketball team.

“All we got to do is (get) one more stop, one more possession. We’re three possessions away from being 6-1 right now, so it’s a bad feeling, and it’s a sick feeling. But we’re a young team, and this team is going to continue to get better. We just have to stay together and continue to grow as a team.”

Eugene had another big night for Troy, scoring 23 points and grabbing five rebounds, while Tayton Conerway chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block. Myles Rigsby also earned nine points, two blocks, a steal, an assist and two rebounds. Devontae Blanton led Eastern Kentucky with 19 points, five rebounds and four assists.

Troy will look to bounce back this Friday, Dec. 1, against SIUE at 7:30 p.m. in a game that will stream on ESPN+.