Troy Hoops continues to dominant conference play

Published 9:33 am Monday, January 15, 2024

The Troy Trojans men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted another doubleheader on Saturday, Jan. 13, and both continued to dominate Sun Belt Conference play.

The men’s team (11-6, 5-0) throttled Southern Miss by a score of 82-56 to win its sixth straight contest and go 5-0 in conference play for the first time since 2004 when the Trojans opened up 6-0 in the ASUN Conference. The men’s team has never enjoyed a start to the conference schedule like this since joining the Sun Belt. This is also Troy’s longest winning streak since 2017. The 26-point victory was Troy’s largest margin of victory since 2012.

Troy was hitting on all cylinders against Southern Miss, shooting 41.9 percent from the field and holding the Golden Eagles to just 33.9 percent shooting. Troy also won the rebound battle 45-34 and forced an eye-popping 18 turnovers to just nine Trojan turnovers. Troy also scored 22 points off turnovers, while Southern Miss managed just eight points off turnovers. Troy also outscored Southern Miss 34-26 in the paint.

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“I’m so thankful to the good lord for this victory and the way our guys played. They continue to get tougher and defend better,” Troy Coach Scott Cross said. “They were phenomenal rebounding the ball. They did a good job taking care of the basketball. Everything as a coach that you look at, they checked all the boxes tonight. I think that’s why the margin was why it was. In addition, our fans were amazing and this was obviously the best crowd of the year, and they energized our guys.”

Jackson Fields led the way for the Trojans with 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Tayton Conerway came off the bench to score 12 points, grab three rebounds, tally three steals and dish five assists. Theo Seng scored 11 points and Christyon Eugene added 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and a steal.

The men’s team is back on the road for the first time since the calendar flipped over to 2024 as the Trojans head to Mobile to face rival South Alabama on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The women’s team was equally as impressive on Saturday, topping the James Madison Dukes by a score of 87-74. The Trojans utilized a dominant third quarter – outscoring JMU 31-18 in the period – to lift themselves to victory.

Troy shot 44.6 percent from the field in the win, while holding JMU to 38 percent shooting. The Trojans won the rebound battle 46-43 and forced 14 turnovers, while turning it over just eight times. Troy also scored 17 points off turnovers, compared to JMU’s three points.

“It was a fantastic night in Trojan Arena. We had so many fans here with the doubleheader and the energy was fantastic,” Troy Coach Chanda Rigby said. “We started slow, but we got refocused in that second quarter. They started out better than us and were able to go into the locker room with the lead, but this team got refocused. Coach Jennifer Graf drew up some stuff at halftime as this was her scout, and the players locked in with it and did much better with offensive rebounds. It didn’t hurt that Hallmon caught fire. We knew we could win this game, and we refused to lose today.”

Both Zay Dyer and Ja’Mia Hollings earned double-doubles in the win. Hollings earned 17 points, 14 rebounds and two steals, while Dyer added 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Makayia Hallmon led the way with 27 points and four assists in the win. Nia Daniel chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds, while Leilani Guion scored 11 points.

The Troy women are back on the road Thursday, as well, as they travel to Texas State.