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Hicks’ double double leads Troy past South

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Wesley Kircharr

Staff Writer

The Troy men’s basketball team picked up its second conference win of the year, downing South Alabama 79-64 on Saturday behind a career night from sophomore forward Alex Hicks.

Hicks led the Trojans in points, field goals made and rebounds in the game during his 37 minutes of play. Hicks went off for a career night in multiple categories, dropping 30 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in his double-double effort.

The Trojans fell behind early, though, as South Alabama took a 15-7 lead just eight minutes into the game. The Trojans fought back to take a 37-30 lead heading into halftime, a lead that only grew as the game progressed.

Trojan guard Wesley Person and forward Jordon Varnado followed Hicks’s breakout performance with double-digit point totals of their own, tallying 13 points and 12 points, respectively. Six of Person’s points came from behind the arc, placing him within two three-pointers of tying the all-time Sun Belt record for the most three point shots made.

“I thought we did a good job of getting the ball to Alex because he was in a nice groove offensively,” said Head Coach Phil Cunningham. “I also thought our defense was sufficient.”

Troy held the Jaguars to minimal numbers on offense, allowing only four points off the bench and allowing the Jags to shoot just 11 percent from behind the arc. Hicks made his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball as well, blocking a game-high four shots.

Troy amassed a double-digit lead in the second half, one that at its largest reached 19 points at the 5:39 mark. Troy built the late lead behind 80 percent shooting from the free throw line, making 21 of its 25 shots as a team. Hicks made seven of his eight attempts.

The Trojans look ahead to facing Coastal Carolina at home Saturday, with tipoff being scheduled for 4:15 p.m.