Troy Basketball continues winning ways

Published 8:39 am Thursday, January 11, 2024

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The Troy Trojans men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted a doubleheader at Trojan Arena on Wednesday and both came away with Sun Belt Conference wins.

The men’s team (10-6, 4-0) picked up a 79-73 win over Louisiana to start 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004 and the first time ever doing so in the SBC. While Troy came away with the win the Ragin’ Cajuns made things interesting by taking a 65-64 lead with just 2:43 left in the game.

The Trojans managed to close things out with a 15-8 run to secure their fifth straight win. Troy shot 50 percent from the field in the win, while Louisiana shot 48.3 percent. Troy lost the rebound battle 33-31 but forced 20 turnovers and scored 25 points off turnovers.

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“I’m proud of our guys. I think we flew around defensively. Anytime you can force a team to turn it over 20 times and 16 are steals, that means your activity was really, really good,” Troy Coach Scott Cross said. “I think we gave up a few too many offensive rebounds, but it was a give-and-tack, and the most important stat is, did you win the game? And our guys got it done. It was a team effort. A lot of guys contributed in different ways. Spudd had a great offensive game. Tayton made some big shots for us. Aamer hit some big free throws. I thought all our guys locked up defensively. The guys were doing a great job and creating chaos… When it counted, our guys turned it up and we were able to get the stops.”

Christyon Eugene had a big night for Troy, scoring 22 points and grabbing seven rebounds along with two assists and three steals. Tayton Conerway came off the bench to score 13 points and dish five assists, while Aamer Muhammad chipped in with 10 points. Jackson Fields also blocked two shots and both Victor Valdes and Thomas Dowd tallied three steals each.

The women’s team (6-8, 3-1) also decimated Louisiana on Wednesday, besting the Cajuns by a score of 90-44 in dominating fashion.

Troy shot 55.2 percent from the field in the win, while holding Louisiana to just 30.6 shooting. Troy also won the rebound battle by an eye-popping 52-29 and forced 15 turnovers in the win.

“It was a great night in Trojan Arena. It was a doubleheader event, and I think we made some new fans tonight with how we played,” Troy Coach Chanda Rigby said. “I’m so proud of this team. They were locked in on defense, and we shot the ball really well. It felt like we were shooting at a record pace. I’m proud of the bench. They scored 36 points, came off the bench and helped. Individually, Zay Dyer led us with 18 points. We recruited all these girls because we have the confidence in them to score and be efficient. Now, it feels like they’ve settled down and don’t think. Instead, they just let it become natural and you can notice the difference.”

Zay Dyer led Troy coming off the bench with 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while Tai’Sheka Porchia turned in a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Makayia Hallmon added 12 points, three steals and four assists, while Nia Daniel tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.

The men’s team is back at home this Saturday against Southern Miss at 4 p.m., while the women host James Madison at 2 p.m. on Saturday.