Men’s basketball defeats Georgia State in overtime

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(Photo/Chris Wallace)

Guard Darian Adams scored 12 points in Saturday’s upset win over Georgia State in Atlanta. The Trojans took a season sweep against the Panthers.

Kennedy Roy

Staff Writer

The Troy Trojans men’s basketball team handed the Georgia State Panthers their first home loss of the season last Saturday afternoon at the GSU Sports Arena, earning an 84-78 victory over the Panthers.

The win gives the Trojans a season sweep over the Panthers, who have won the past two Sun Belt Conference tournament championships.

Head Coach Scott Cross shared what this win means for his team and what it showed him about his team. 

“It was definitely the biggest win of the year,” Cross said. “Georgia State is a top-100 team in the NET ratings, Ken Pom ratings and just about every system you can find. 

“So, it’s the biggest win for us. I told them after the game that adversity reveals your character, and today’s effort showed the character of this basketball team.”

Three Trojans played huge as they combined for 73% of the offense with 61 points, eight assists and 11 3-pointers. 

Ty Gordon posted 24 points and 4 assists, Desmond Williams reached 23 points on 5-10 shooting from beyond the arc, and KJ Simon posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The first half was a tale of mini runs. Both teams went blow for blow going back and forth. 

In the first half, Troy shot 54.8% from the floor and shot 52.6% from deep. 

Williams scored a game-high 18 points in the first period, while Gordon and Simon each added 10 points. 

After Troy had the lead of 52-45 with just over a minute to go, the Panthers held Troy scoreless the rest of the half, using a pair of baskets to cut the Troy advantage to just 52-49 at the break.

 After halftime, Georgia State opened the half on a 7-2 run to take 56-54 lead with 17:38 to go.

 Over the next seven minutes of action, the teams scored just 13 combined points as GSU enjoyed a one-point advantage with less than 10 minutes to play.

 Tied at 65 with 8 minutes left, the Panthers tried to pull away going on a 7-0 run, but the Trojans responded with a quick 7-0 run of their own. This evened the score at 72 with six minutes left.

 Both sides had opportunities down the stretch, but neither side was able to find a bucket until Thomas’ 3-pointer with 53 seconds left which gave Troy the 77-74 advantage.

 Troy executed down the stretch, using the 10-4 run to hold on for a six-point victory.

 After allowing Georgia State to shoot 52.8% from the field the first half, Troy limited the Panthers to just 11-of-40 shooting and 2-of-18 from the 3-point line in the second half.

 Troy returns to action Friday night for a nationally televised match up against in-state rival South Alabama. Tip-off from Trojan Arena is set for 8 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2.

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