Trojans take down Sun Belt leader

Dylan Hurst

Staff Writer

Troy faltered late in the second half and couldn’t recover against fellow Sun Belt Conference team Georgia Southern, losing 90-82 in the Trojan Arena on Thursday night. 

The Trojans couldn’t get much going from the field in the game as they shot 31-of-64 (48 percent). In contrast, Georgia Southern shot 19-of-27 (70 percent) in the second half, a stat which really hurt the Trojans down the stretch. 

Senior Jordon Varnado finished the game with 32 points and 10 rebounds, enough for his fifth double-double this season. He scored over a third of the Trojans’ points in this game. 

Sophomore Darian Adams scored the second-most points in the game at 12 along with four rebounds. Three other Trojans scored nine points during the game — seniors Alex Hicks and BJ Miller, as well as freshman KJ Simon. 

At halftime, Troy was holding a 44-43 lead after an offensive filled first half from both teams.  

Soon after the start of the second half, the score changed hands a few more times before Troy held a three-point lead with 17 minutes remaining in regulation. 

With about 15 minutes to go in the game, Georgia Southern gained a three-point lead and never let up, the final score settling at 90-82.

In Saturday night’s action, Troy won 77-75 and gave Sun Belt Conference leader Georgia State its first loss in Sun Belt play after senior Jordon Varnado hit a wild three-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Trojans were down by six points, 75-69, with only 2:36 remaining in the game after two consecutive three-point shots by the Panthers. 

Over the next two minutes, junior Charles Norman hit a three-point shot to shorten the lead to three points. Then, after two possessions, the Panthers fouled senior Alex Hicks, who nailed both free throws to get Troy one away from a tied score.

Troy then intentionally fouled a Panther to bring up a one-point free throw. The Panther missed the free throw, and sophomore Javan Johnson got the board with only 12 seconds left in the game. 

Senior BJ Miller passed the ball to Varnado, who then made the game-winning three from the very top of the arc with less than two seconds remaining in the game.   

Varnado again tied his career-high in both points and free throws, with 32 points and 12 field goals made. He also recorded nine boards, three assists and three blocks. 

Norman posted 15 points with four field-goals made in 17 minutes after coming off the bench. Hicks fell just short of a double-double after recording eight points and nine boards. 

Troy will travel to Louisiana to face off against ULM on Thursday Jan. 24 before taking on Louisiana on Saturday, Jan. 26.

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