Troy Basketball falls in Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Published 9:41 am Monday, March 11, 2024

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Both the Troy Trojans men’s and women’s basketball teams lost in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Pensacola, Fla., this weekend.

The women (19-11, 15-3) lost to seventh seed Louisiana on Friday by a score of 67-65. Troy had the ball – trailing by two – with 4.8 seconds left but Ja’Mia Hollings’ last second three-pointer rattled off the rim.

Troy shot 42.4 percent from the field, while Louisiana shot 41.9 percent. The Trojans also won the rebound battle 44-30 but Louisiana outscored Troy 26-22 in the paint and also forced 17 turnovers compared to just eight Louisiana turnovers.

Troy’s Ja’Mia Hollings earned a double-double against Louisiana in the SBC Tournament. (Photo Courtesy of Troy University Athletics)

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“This is not the way we wanted to represent Troy today. I’m mostly sad for our whole team and definitely our four seniors,” women’s coach Chanda Rigby said. “I want to give Louisiana a ton of credit. It’s tough to beat someone three times in a season, and we didn’t play like underdogs. However, they did. After making a run off our press, we never found another big run. That’s the game of basketball. It’s a game of runs. They also did well getting it into the paint, which went against our gameplan. This loss doesn’t define these players. They are amazing, and they really wanted it. Unfortunately, that’s March Madness.”

Hollings led Troy with 23 points, 12 rebounds, two steals and a block, while Nia Daniel added 15 points and four assists. Makayia Hallmon chipped in with 10 points and All-Sun Belt forward Tai’Sheka Porchia was held to just five points and five rebounds 17:46 of game time.

The men’s team also lost to 11th seed Texas State by a score of 74-68 on Saturday. It was Troy’s second loss to the Bobcats in the last nine days. Texas State shot 55.6 percent from the field, while Troy only shot 46.9 percent. The Trojans won the rebound battle 29-25 and both teams turned the ball over almost equally. Troy turned the ball over 19 times and TSU turned it over 20 times.

“I thought our guys played really, really hard today,” men’s coach Scott Cross said. “We were tough, we were physical, credit to Texas State. They finished plays. They made shots against us. It was one of the most physical games that I have been a part of. We didn’t finish as many plays as we needed to do.

“We had a lot of open opportunities getting to the basket and we didn’t finish them. Aamer Muhammad and Christyon Eugene have been phenomenal for us all season long. We’ve had a phenomenal season winning 20 games. It’s a disappointment because everyone’s goal at the beginning of the season is to go to the NCAA Tournament and we came up short. I feel like this team is good enough to go the NCAA Tournament, but credit to Texas State.”

Tayton Conerway led Troy with 16 points and five assists off the bench, while Aamer Muhammad tallied 14 points and two steals. Christyon Eugene also earned 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.