TSU Clinches Top Seed

The Troy State men's basketball team unleashed a 3-point barrage and had six players score in double figures in blowing past Jacksonville, 113-73, in the Atlantic Sun Conference "Game of the Week" on Friday night at Swisher Gymnasium.
    The win secured the Trojans of at least a share of their third consecutive conference regular-season title and clinched the top seed in the A-Sun Championship tournament, scheduled for next week in Nashville, Tenn.
    Senior Herbert Evans scored 22 points, tying his career high, and junior Ryan Heck added 20 points off the bench for the Trojans (21-5, 17-2 A-Sun), who can clinch the outright regular-season title with a win at Stetson in their season finale on Sunday. The Trojans have now won a share of four of the last five A-Sun regular-season championships.
    Senior Greg Davis added 15 points and 11 assists for TSU, setting the school's all-time single-season record for assists in the process with his 235th, passing Charles McDonald's previous mark of 234 set in 1990-91. He needs just two more assists to set the single-season conference record for assists.
    Troy State hit 18-of-34 shots from 3-point range and shot a season-high 59 percent from the floor for the game.
    "Our seniors came in tonight and were intent on winning the championship in this game," Troy State head coach Don Maestri said. "They set the tone early with our press, and a lot of our 3s were set up off the pressure. We didn't take anything for granted. It was a great overall effort."
    The Trojans came out firing, hitting 13-of-19 3-pointers in the first half while shooting 71 percent from the floor overall (22-of-31) to race out to a 64-39 lead at intermission. They continued with more of the same in the second half to secure the largest margin of victory in series history and win their fifth straight game against the Dolphins (13-14, 8-11).
    Both teams were sloppy with the basketball at times, with Jacksonville committing 27 turnovers and Troy State 20. JU's proved to be more costly, however, with the Trojans turning those into 39 points, compared to just 18 for Jacksonville. TSU also tallied 38 fast-break points, compared to JU's six. Jacksonville shot 45 percent for the game and 8-of-24 shot from 3-point range, but the Dolphins ultimately couldn't overcome the Trojans' long-range attack. The 18 3-pointers rank as the fifth-most by the Trojans this season.
    David Lee scored 24 points to lead the Dolphins, while Haminn Quaintance added 20, the only JU players to score in double figures.
    Kendrick Johnson tallied 16 points for Troy State, while Jerome Stamper added 11 points and Zavier Mathis 10.
    After closing the season at Stetson on Sunday, the Trojans will play eighth-seeded Florida Atlantic in Nashville on Thursday at noon.