Trojans eke win from Troy
The Trojans hit 13-25 3-pointers against the Troy Trojans en-route to a 76-73 victory in the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday. UALR picked up its first conference victory of the season while five players scored in double figures. Troy coach Don Maestri was not at the game due to health reasons.
“You have to give Troy credit for their resiliency and their persistence,” UALR coach Steve Shields said. “Troy is such a difficult team to play – the pace of their play. I thought we gave good energy and good effort in the first half. I thought we made very good decisions in the first half.”
The Trojans (9-9, 1-2 SBC) led by as many as 15 points in the first half on Solomon Bozeman’s 3-pointer with about a minute to play, and led 41-27 going into halftime. Bozeman led the team with 17 points while hitting 4-8 from three-point range.
The second half was a different story. Troy (2-13, 0-3 SBC) started the half on a 12-3 run to make the score 44-39 with 14:34 remaining in the game. Troy senior guard Regis Huddleston scored five consecutive points, capped by a 16-foot jumper for Troy’s first lead of the half, 48-49, with 10:22 left.
Trojan senior guard Matt Mouzy hit a 3-pointer at the 7:59 mark to tie the game 51-51. After a steal by D’Andre Williams, Mouzy hit another three to make the lead 54-51 with 7:11 remaining. Mouzy finished with 12 points (3-7 3-pointers) while Williams filled the box score with 12 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.
The Trojans would never trail again, but Troy never gave up, even when they were down by eight points with 1:29 left in the game. Sophomore guard Will Weathers scored six consecutive points for Troy to make the score 70-67 with 25 seconds left. He finished with 27 points to lead all scorers and had 10 assists for his third double-double of the year.
“He’s very fast with the ball,” Shields said about Weathers. “He’s able to get it to the paint. We were so concerned with getting out to the 3-point line. We wanted to make him make tough twos as opposed to giving up threes.”
UALR’s 13 3-pointers, out of 19 field goals for the game, are the most of the year and were the result of Troy playing zone for most of the game. Shields went to a four-guard lineup several times to combat the zone.
“That’s one of the strengths of our team,” Shields said of the UALR’s 3-point shooting. “If we can get more guards on the floor and not get exposed at the other end, that’s a strength of our team.”
Senior forward Derrick Bails had five points and a career-high 13 rebounds off the bench. His previous high was nine rebounds against North Texas last season and Shields was happy with the effort.
“I thought he was a very, very good rebounder of the ball tonight,” Shields said. “For him to come in and get 13 rebounds in 19 minutes, that’s phenomenal. We’ve got to have some rebounding from those bigs. Derrick was very good tonight from that standpoint.”
Trojan freshman guard Daylon “Chucky” Guy added to the 3-point barrage, shooting 4-6 from the 3-point line and finishing with 14 points. The Trojans are currently 11th in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage at a 41 percent clip. Senior guard Alex Garcia-Mendoza added 10 points in the Trojan victory. Troy senior center Bernard Toombs had 16 rebounds in the loss.
UALR will play the University of Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday at the Jack Stephens Center at 7 p.m.