Men’s basketball falls to Arkansas State

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(Photo/Pawan Khanal)

Guard Desmond Williams goes up against a Red Wolves defender on Saturday in Trojan Arena.

Dylan Hurst

Staff Writer

The men’s basketball team fell 78-62 against the Arkansas State Red Wolves, the No. 3 team in the Sun Belt Conference, on Saturday in Trojan Arena.

The loss moves the Trojans’ record to 4-7 in the Sun Belt Conference and 8-14 overall.

The team is now number 10 in the conference standings with just over a month left in the regular season before the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

After the game, Head Coach Scott Cross addressed the team’s performance.

“I thought the game tonight came down to us not hitting enough shots,” Cross said. “We gave Arkansas State some easy buckets in the first half because we didn’t get back on defense.

“Easy baskets get your confidence up, and we didn’t have very many easy baskets tonight. That can change the outcome of the game.”

Junior Khalyl Walters scored a career-high 15 points during the game with 12 points coming in the second half along with four rebounds.

Before Saturday, Waters had 20 points combined in his previous 15 games on the season.

Junior and teammate Ty Gordon scored 14 points alongside four assists.

The Red Wolves held Troy to just one field goal over the first six minutes of the game while they scored 10 points to take an early 10-3 lead.

A 9-4 run allowed the Trojans to get within four points of the lead 16-12 with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, but that’s as close as the team would get in the first half.

The Red Wolves then answered with their own explosive 15-2 run to take a 31-14 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half.

Troy then went on an 11-6 run to close within 12 points (37-25) at the break.

At the beginning of the second half, the Red Wolves picked up where they left off with a 7-1 run to stretch their lead to 46-26 with 15 minutes remaining.

The Trojans responded with a 13-5 run of their own and cut the margin to 12 points.

With over 5 minutes remaining, Arkansas State led 65-45.

Gordon was fouled, and it was later upgraded to a flagrant penalty, which gave Troy four free-throws and possession.

Troy then used a rapid 7-1 run to close to within 66-53 with over 4 minutes remaining.

However, the Trojans couldn’t narrow the gap for the remainder of the game, and the team took a disappointing 78-62 loss.

Next, the Trojans will go on the road to face Georgia Southern and Georgia State, two of the Sun Belt’s top teams.

Georgia State currently holds second place in the Sun Belt Conference standings while Georgia Southern is currently in fourth place.

Last time Troy faced each team was in Trojan Arena two weeks ago when the Trojans fell to the Eagles but upset the Panthers in a comeback victory.

 

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