Mountaineers top men’s basketball

Taylor Boydstun

Staff Writer

The Trojan men’s basketball team lost 78-74 at Appalachian State on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Four days after a series of three closely scheduled games, this match gave the Trojans (9-18, 4-12 Sun Belt) a more slow-paced week in competition.

Sophomore guard Wesley Person continued to impress, putting up 30 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc, thus raising his three-pointer-per-game streak to 56 games. Though Person was one point shy of his career high, he was not the only Trojan to score points in the double digits.

Freshman forward Jordan Varnado and senior forward John Walton III scored 18 and 10 points, respectively. While Person brought down only two rebounds, Varnado and Walton brought five and seven.

The Mountaineers’ (7-20, 5-11 Sun Belt) senior guard Frank Eaves became the Sun Belt’s top scorer after his performance in this game. He is now averaging 19.5 points per game, with 19 points scored against the Trojans.

Appalachian State was 12-for-22 from beyond the arc, but seven of those shots came in the first half. It hit 12 shots inside the arc, too, but shot only 32 times, giving the team 44 percent shooting for the night.

The Mountaineers’ final lead of four points was evenly split in both halves, leading Troy 40-38 in the first and 38-36 in the second.

Although the game stayed close in score, Troy managed to take the lead only once, when a Varnado layup put his team up 50-49 with about 14 minutes left in the second half. The Mountaineers answered with back-to-back three-pointers.

With less than a minute left in the game, Appalachian State missed two free throws, keeping Troy within two.  With 25 seconds to go, Person missed a go-ahead shot from beyond the arc.

The loss came as a tough blow to the Trojans, having just won against conference-rival South Alabama, and preventing them from a three-game win streak.

Next, Troy will host the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. Two days later, the Trojans host The University of Louisiana at Monroe on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 4:30 p.m., wrapping up their home schedule for this season.

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