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Men’s basketball falls on two-game road skid

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Dylan Hurst

Staff Writer

The Troy men’s basketball team extended a two-game losing streak over the weekend, falling to St. Louis and Pittsburgh on the road. 

In Saturday’s action, Troy (1-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) held the lead through most of the game, but a comeback by St. Louis cost Troy the win in a 62-58 loss at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. 

Senior Jordon Varnado recorded a double-double, scoring a game-high 20 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Senior BJ Miller scored eight points, along with two assists and two steals.

At halftime, the Trojans held a 29-23 lead and had made 42 percent (5-of-12) of goals from the three-point line. They allowed St. Louis to make only nine field goals. 

The Trojans held a narrow 47-42 lead with 5:24 remaining before a Billikens player scored on a half-court three as the shot clock expired. St. Louis then scored two more consecutive field goals to take a 51-49 lead before Varnado knocked down a jumper to tie it at 51 each with 3:38 remaining in regulation.  

St. Louis then had a 10-3 run going before Miller made both technical foul shots to bring the score to 61-56 with 21 seconds remaining. On the next possession, sophomore Darian Adams was fouled as he took a three-point attempt and made 2-of-3 at the line to bring Troy to within three, 61-58, with 19 seconds remaining. 

Troy fouled a Billikens player, who missed the first free throw of the one-and-one. This gave Troy one last chance for a tie. Junior Devante Foster made his shot from behind the arc, but the ball touched every part of the rim, then bounced out, handing Troy a 62-58 loss. 

In Monday’s action, Troy fell 84-75 against Pittsburgh in non-conference play at the Peterson Events Center in Pittsburgh. Three Troy players scored in double-digits throughout the game but were unable to stop Pitt’s offense.  

The Trojans trailed by only five at the half, but consistent shooting from Pittsburgh allowed the Panthers to pull away. 

Senior Jordon Varnado scored his second double-double in his second game, scoring 22 points and 11 rebounds with two blocks, an assist and one steal. Fellow seniors Alex Hicks and BJ Miller also posted double-doubles, with Hicks scoring 16 points and Miller scoring 13 points. Miller added six assists, three rebounds and a steal in the game. 

Pitt was held to just 27.3 percent (3-of-11) from behind the arc in the first half, but Pitt then shot 43.8 percent (7-of-16) in the second half and 50 percent (30-of-60) overall. The Panthers had five players score 12 or more points during the game. Pitt senior Jared Wilson-Frame scored 24 off the bench, including 16 on 4-of-6 from behind the arc in the second half. 

Pitt gained a 10-point advantage early in the second half and never looked back. Troy kept the game close, but Pitt gained possession of four offensive rebounds, milking the clock.  

With 54 seconds remaining, the Trojans pulled to within seven points of Pitt (82-75) but were unable to complete the comeback after a pair of Panther free throws. 

The Trojans will take a break from the Barclays Center Classic and face off against Southern Miss at Trojan Arena on Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m.