Men’s basketball falls in final games

(Photo/Pawan Khanal)

Freshman guard Desmond Williams posted nine points and four assists against Texas-Arlington.

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team ended its regular season with a loss on the road to South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, and a loss at home to UT-Arlington.

The loss to the Jaguars and the Mavericks puts Troy’s record at 9-22 overall and 5-15 in the Sun Belt Conference heading into the conference tournament. 

“This certainly wasn’t the way that anyone wanted the season to go,” Head Coach Scott Cross said. “We went through a ton of adversity this season, but hopefully tomorrow we’ll all wake up and realize that we have to get better as a basketball program.”

Against South Alabama, the team got off to a rough start in the first half, shooting just 39%. 

The Jaguars, however, couldn’t miss from anywhere on the court, shooting 68% overall, 54% from deep and 90% from the free-throw line. 

The Jaguars went into halftime with a 46-30 lead over the Trojans.

Coming out of halftime, the home team began with a 15-3 run to open up a 61-33 lead. However, the Trojans used a 15-3 run of their own to cut the lead to 64-48 with under eight minutes remaining. 

In the final 15 minutes of the game, the Trojans outscored the Jaguars 30-17, but the run came too late. 

The Jaguars took their 19th win of the season by a score of 78-63. 

South Alabama earned the season sweep after beating Troy in Trojan Arena 70-66 last month. 

Senior guard Charles Norman led the Trojans on the night with 17 points with 15 of them coming from 3-point shots. 

“Chuck is a guy who never quits and fights until the very end,” Cross said. “Even when you’re down big like we were at times tonight, you know you can put Chuck in, and he’ll battle for you.”

Junior forward Khalyl Waters nearly reached a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

Junior forward Nick Stampley also reached nine rebounds, and he recorded eight points, as well. 

After losing in Mobile, the Trojans returned home last Tuesday night to face Cross’ former team, Texas-Arlington. 

A career night from Norman in his final regular-season game was not enough as the Mavericks defeated the Trojans by a 78-64 score.

The game started poorly for the Trojans, who shot 39%w in the first half and allowed the Mavericks to convert on 48% of their shot attempts.

The Mavericks’ five 3-point shots in the first half was enough to take a 36-24 advantage into halftime. 

Coming out of the half, the Trojans’ found their stride offensively thanks to Norman. 

The senior guard showed out in his final game scoring 22 points in the second half alone. 

Norman converted on eight of his 12 attempts, including six baskets from beyond the arc. He added a pair of free throws to finish with 24 points in the game.

“There are a lot of emotions I’m feeling right now,” Norman said. “I’m glad I went out with a bang and played as well as I did tonight. 

“I came out and tried to play as hard as I could and play the best game of my life.”

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