Cardinal Rule Editor
A stellar performance from the stripe was enough to keep the Trojans perfect at home against Nicholls State, and a late run helped Troy finish off the Colonels 77-62.
Senior Jeff Mullahey’s career-high 19 points, the biggest points being a late post-timeout three after the Colonels (0-3) had narrowed the scoring margin to just five, was the driving force behind the Trojan’s (2-2) 15-point victory.
If you ask him where the performance came from, which also included four steals and not a single shot taken from the field in the first half, he might have trouble explaining it.
“It kind of surprised me too,” Mullahey said. “I got a couple of open threes from my teammates and hit a few free throws so that was about it.”
His perfect 9-for-9 mark from the line was a big part of the squad’s 31-for-36 total for the game.
JC Bonny also played an important role with 11 points and a 6-for-6 clip from the free throw line in the first half, and did a great job splitting defenders and finding driving lanes.
Attacking the paint was something that Troy coach Phil Cunningham realized could be very effective while watching film from Nicholls State’s previous game against a familiar Sun Belt foe.
“North Texas had them in the bonus five minutes into the game,” Cunningham said. “Our plan was to drive the ball because they play a very aggressive style of defense.”
The Colonels finished the game with 27 personal fouls for the game opposed to just 13 for the Trojans.
After an outstanding offensive first half where the Trojans were very efficient scoring while hitting nearly 53 percent of their shots, Nicholls State made a noticeable effort to hold them to 11-of-26 shooting in the final period.
Troy’s usual key force on offense Hunter Williams, struggled with his shot for most of the game, finishing with an uncharacteristic 1-for-8 performance in his team-high 36 minutes on the floor.
The Colonels focused on limiting him offensively early, which seemed to leave him in a funk until later in the second half.
“Hunt is a guy who when he gets in a rhythm he really knocks down shots, but he presses too,” Cunningham said. “He knows we count on him to make shots and I thought it got a little mental with him tonight and that won’t happen very often.”
Troy will take a week off before heading to Conway, Ark. to meet up with Central Arkansas with tip-off is set for Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.