Men’s basketball falls short against Jaguars

(Photo/Rojan Maharjan)

Sophomore guard Tahj Small scored a season-high 12 points in Friday loss to South Alabama.

Kennedy Roy

Staff Writer

Troy men’s basketball lost to in-state rival South Alabama 70-66 last Friday in Trojan Arena in front of a crowd of 4,523. 

The crowd was the second-largest for the season behind the opening game against UAB.

After the game, Head Coach Scott Cross talked about the home crowd on Friday’s game. 

“The crowd was awesome tonight and gave us a huge lift,” Cross said. “South was up seven or eight points in the second half, then I thought our crowd brought us back into it. 

“The crowd made a huge difference for us. I wish we could have rewarded them with a win, but unfortunately, we didn’t get it done.”

The Trojans (9-16, 5-9 Sun Belt Conference) went blow for blow all night with a powerful South Alabama team (14-11, 7-7 Sun Belt Conference)

After the game, Cross discussed the team’s efforts. 

“We played about as hard as we could, and I thought we did a pretty good job of attacking their zone in the second half,” he said. “We were just right there at the end. 

“We missed a rebound after we did a perfect job of defending them. We just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Troy trailed most of the game but was never out of the game until the final whistle.

With just more than a minute left to play, the Trojans cut in South Alabama’s lead and trailed 67-66.

The Trojans forced a tough shot before the Jaguars eventually came up with the ball out of the scrum.

As time was ticking down under a minute Head Coach Scott Cross the yelled at Desmond Williams to foul. Williams was reluctant to foul being that he was the leading scorer and another foul would foul him out. 

Williams was the hot hand all night finishing the game with 14 points shooting 4-7 from the 3-point line.

After Williams fouled out the game the Jaguars made their two free throws to put them up 69-66.

After a South Alabama timeout, the Trojans found Ty Gordon, whose 3-point attempt missed the mark.

Three other Trojans finished the night with double digits. 

Tahj Small had 12 points, and Nick Stampley put up 10 points, all of which came in the first half.  

Gordon posted 10 points and eight assists. The junior now has scored double-digit points in six-straight games.

Troy’s season-long three-game homestand continues next weekend when ULM visits Trojan Arena for a Thursday night matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

The Trojans are currently at 11th in the Sun Belt Conference. 

The Warhawks are 12th with a 2-12 record in conference play and 6-17 overall. 

The Trojans played Louisiana-Monroe in Monroe, Louisiana, on Jan. 2 and lost 79-63.

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