Troy men, women earn Saturday hoops wins

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, January 9, 2024

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Both the Troy Trojans men’s basketball and women’s basketball team picked up Sun Belt Conference wins on Saturday, Jan. 6.

The men (9-6, 3-0) extended their winning streak to four games with a 66-62 win over Appalachian State at home. The win also marks the first time the Troy men have won its first three conference games of the season since 2010.

Troy shot 39.1 percent from the field, while Appalachian State shot 41.1 percent. The Trojans also lost the rebound battle 42-38 but forced 14 turnovers and scored 20 points off those turnovers.

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“This is a signature win for our team. App State is a top-75 team in the country and they’ve already won 11 games,” Troy Coach Scottt Cross said. “They beat Auburn on their home court. Our guys were up for the challenge. Our guys were locked in defensively. To create 13 steals is absolutely amazing.

“After the first 10 minutes, we did a much better job on the boards. Aamer Muhammad absolutely carried us offensively. Tayton Conerway was really good. Victor Valdes played awesome for us. Everybody played defense and that is the biggest thing. For us to win a championship, we’re going to need every guy to be locked in and play great defense.”

Aamer Muhammad scored a season-high 19 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished three assists and earned four steals as he filled up the stat sheet. Victor Valdes added a season-high 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds with two steals, while Tayton Conerway came off the bench to score 15 points.

The Troy women (5-8, 2-1) also picked up its second straight conference win 86-80 over Coastal Carolina on the road Saturday.

Troy shot 41.3 percent from the field, while Coastal shot 41.2 percent. The Trojan women also lost the rebound battle 50-46 but forced an eye-popping 17 turnovers and scored 19 points off those turnovers. Troy only turned the ball over nine times.

“I’m so overjoyed and thrilled about this team going on the road and getting two huge wins. We just snatch them away from two very good teams,” Troy Coach Chanda Rigby said. “This team keeps believing and wants to represent Troy in a winning fashion. They took giant steps today, and their focus is on another level. All 10 players who dressed today did their jobs. This was one of the toughest teams to limit turnovers against, and our guards did a great job with that.

“We’re getting a lot of experience in close game situations. I prefer not being in those situations, but that’s just how it goes. We played three different defenses today and it speaks volumes about their coach because he adjusted well. It was like a chess match.”

Makayia Hallmon led Troy with 22 points, while Ja’Miah Hollings and Tai’Sheka Porchia both chipped in with double-doubles. Porchia tallied 17 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block, while Hollings earned 17 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block. Nia Daniel added 17 points, five rebounds and two steals in the win, while Shaulan Wagner dished a season-high eight assists and also earned a steal and a block with six points and four rebounds.