Men fall to Louisiana’s Sun Belt duo

Dylan Hurst

Staff Writer

The Trojans held strong but faltered late after they lost 75-69 against fellow Sun Belt Conference team ULM inside of Fant-Ewing Coliseum on Thursday night. 

Troy had a decent game shooting from the field at 28-of-60 (47 percent), but the Warhawks bested that score by shooting 15-of-17 (88 percent), a stat which propelled them to the win and the continuation of their undefeated home streak. 

Senior Jordon Varnado led the way in scoring with 29 points along with a career-high tying 12 field goals made. He also added six rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. 

Senior Alex Hicks scored 14 points and nine rebounds, just missing a double-double opportunity, and sophomore Javan Johnson scored 12 points with eight rebounds, also coming close to a double-double. 

With three minutes left in regulation, Troy was behind 67-61. Varnado scored a layup and made the free throw after he was fouled on the play, bringing Troy within three points of the lead. Shortly after, ULM responded with a jump shot to bring their lead to 69-64. 

Varnado scored two more free throws on fouls during their next possession to get within three of the lead again, but a ULM layup with 30 seconds left ended the game. 

Troy had three players score 20 points or more, but they couldn’t maintain their lead, falling 86-81 against Sun Belt conference team Louisiana on Saturday night in the Cajundome. 

Troy shot 15-of-28 (53 percent) during the second half and 28-of-58 (48 percent) during the game against Louisiana’s 7-of-12 (58 percent) in regulation and 16-of-28 (57 percent) during the second half. 

Senior Jordon Varnado posted a double-double after scoring a career-high 33 points with 11 rebounds, while fellow senior Alex Hicks also posted a double-double in a season-high tying 20 points and a season-high 14 rebounds. 

Sophomore Javan Johnson tied his career high with 20 points on 3-of-6 (50%) three-point shots alongside six rebounds and two assists. 

With 17 minutes remaining in regulation, Troy found themselves down by eight points. Then, they came roaring back to tie the game at 59 after scoring eight unanswered points with 11 minutes remaining. 

After a three-point shot made by Louisiana and a layup made by Troy, Johnson was fouled and made both free throws to give Troy the lead at 63-62 with nine minutes remaining. 

Louisiana fought back and tied the game at 76 apiece after a successful three-point shot and would regain the lead with two minutes remaining after two successful free throws. 

Varnado then scored a layup to tie the game at 78, but Louisiana then scored a layup to take the lead for the remainder of the game.  

Troy will be back in action on Saturday when it faces off against rival and fellow Sun Belt Conference team South Alabama in Mobile. Tip is set for 5 p.m. with the game broadcast live on ESPN+. 

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