Trojans lose third straight

The Troy Trojans’ (13-11, 5-6) losing streak ballooned to three straight with a 74-65 loss to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (20-4, 9-2) on Thursday.

The loss also dropped Troy to below .500 in the Sun Belt and keeps the Trojans in eighth place in the conference, while Southern Miss remains in first. The Trojans have lost three straight and five of the last six games.

Troy shot 43 percent from the field and just 58.8 percent from the free throw line, while Southern Miss shot 52 percent from the field. Southern Miss won the battle on the boards 32-31 and outscored Troy 20-13 in the paint, while forcing 14 Troy turnovers.

Zay Williams led Troy with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Aamer Muhammad had 13 points. Christian Turner earned five assists in the loss, while Nelson Phillips scored nine points and grabbed eight rebounds. Austin Crowley led Southern Miss with 23 points and six rebounds.

“We had a tough time stopping (Southern Miss’) Austin Crowley. He knows how to hit tough shots and does things from outside that are hard at any level,” Troy coach Scott Cross said. “Outside of him, we held them to 1-of-14 from deep. He was the difference in the game. Zay (Williams) gave us a chance but we can’t let the opposition shoot 50-plus percent.

“That’s not a recipe for winning. We have to be better defensively. Until we get that corrected, it’s going to be hard. But we have a 48-hour turnaround. We are going to wipe this one clean, regroup and find a way to win one on Saturday.”

Troy will look to rebound on Saturday at home against Texas State at 6 p.m.