( Photo / Troy Athletics)
Desmond Williams stands at the free throw line. Troy lost both games on the road this weekend in Conway, South Carolina. The Trojans are only 1-5 on season in Sun Belt Conference play.
The Troy men’s basketball team dropped a two-game stretch against Sun Belt foe Coastal Carolina when the Trojans traveled to Conway, South Carolina, to take on the current runner-up in the conference’s East division.
In last Friday night’s opening matchup, Troy relinquished its seven-point halftime lead as the Chanticleers shot their way back to a 90-81 win.
Coastal’s DeVante’ Jones led the Chanticleers in the second half, scoring 24 of his 30 after the halftime break.
“Devante Jones was the difference tonight,” said Head Coach Scott Cross. “He willed Coastal to victory, and played about as close to a perfect game as anyone could possibly play.
“He scored every free throw down the stretch and was able to get to the line in key moments. He’s a great player. The tough part is we played about as well as we could have offensively, but we didn’t play great defensively.”
True freshman Kam Woods led the Trojans with a team high of 21 points in the loss.
Woods joined an elite group of Trojan legends after the loss, becoming the third freshman since 2004 to have at least three 20-point outings. This feat had had only been accomplished by Jordan Varnado and Wesley Person in seasons past.
“I remember both Jordon and Wes from when I was at UT Arlington and those are two of the most feared scorers that I can remember in my coaching career,” Crioss said. “For Kam to be in that company says a lot about his talent level and how well he’s playing.”
Coastal, ranked fifth in the nation in scoring offense, once again narrowly outgunned the Trojans in Saturday’s game, winning 70-65.
Woods had another career night for Troy, posting 28 points in the loss. Woods tallied 49 points over the weekend stretch on 17-of-35 shooting.
“Kam was phenomenal again today and is playing like a senior,” Cross said. “He’s playing with a ton of confidence and is hitting his 3-pointers. He’s executing our pick-and-roll and is scoring with his floater. We couldn’t have asked for much more out of him.”
Following a questionable foul call, Cross was ejected from the game and Coastal sent DeVante Jones to the line for a chance at four free throws. After connecting on all four, Coastal put the game on ice, leaving the score 70-65.
Following the pair of conference losses, Troy sits at the bottom of the East division.
The Trojans return to action on Friday night as they play host to Appalachian State at 6 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday.