Men’s basketball falls to Coastal, App State

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(Photo/Pawan Khanal)

The Trojans fell on the road for the first time since losing to the Georgia Southern Eagles on Jan.30.

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team suffered losses on the road last Thursday at Coastal Carolina in Conway, South Carolina, and Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina. 

The loss extends the team’s losing streak to five games and puts the Trojans’ record at 9-20 overall and 5-13 in the Sun Belt Conference with two games remaining in the regular season before the conference tournament. 

Against Coastal Carolina, the Chanticleers made 60% of all their shots and 37% of 3-point shots to dominate the Trojans 90-60. 

“This was a very disappointing performance all the way around,” Head Coach Scott Cross said. “Our guys have to play harder and tougher.

“There were very few things that we did right.”

The game started off competitively for the team as the Trojans traded the lead with the Chanticleers. 

After the teams were tied at 15 points, Coastal Carolina went on a 17-6 run to cement their advantage in the game and take a 40-26 lead at the half. 

A 7-0 run early in the third quarter gave the team hope as the Trojans cut the lead to 17. The Chanticleers then went on a 16-7 run to put the game away in the second half.

The team was led in scoring by junior guard Ty Gordon, who had 15 points in the game.

Following closely behind was junior Nick Stampley, who posted 14 points with six points coming from 3-point shots. 

Sophomore guard Tahj Small drained three shots from beyond the arc and finished with nine points. 

Following the loss, the Trojans went to Boone, North Carolina, to face Appalachian State, where the team had more success than playing against Coastal Carolina.

The Trojans played from behind at the beginning, trailing the Mountaineers 13-6 before a 21-7 run of their own gave the team the lead late in the second quarter. 

The Trojans scored the final six points of the second quarter to take a 32-27 run going into halftime. 

In the second half, the first 10 minutes were dominated by Appalachian State. 

The Mountaineers went on a 26-8 run to give themselves a double-digit lead in the middle of the second half. 

The Trojans started a run with help from 3-pointers by guards Desmond Williams and Charles Norman. The team cut the Mountaineer lead from 16 down to seven points. 

Poor shooting down the stretch limited the Trojans’ ability to come back as the Mountaineers held on for a 68-59 victory. 

“In the second half we missed some wide-open shots, which let down our energy,” Cross said. “Then we tried to force a few things because we were struggling to score.

“I did feel like our guys kept fighting and gave us an opportunity to pull it out.”

After shooting 34% from the field in the first half, the Trojans shot 25% on all shots in the second half, converting seven of 28 field goal attempts.

Gordon was the only player to reach double-digit scoring, finishing with 11 points for the game. 

Next, the Trojans head to Mobile, Alabama, to face rival South Alabama on Saturday.

The team will then head to Arlington, Texas, to face Cross’ former team, Texas-Arlington, on Tuesday for the regular-season finale.

 

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