JACKSONVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - The Troy Trojans men’s basketball team took a trip to take on a former rival Wednesday night. Riding a two-game winning streak, Troy (4-6) used suffocating defense in the latter stages of the second half to pull out a 60-55 victory over Jacksonville State (2-7).
After trailing by just two points at half, Troy’s deficit had grown to five at 50-45 with 9:43 remaining in the game. What Troy’s defense would do to the Gamecocks can be explained in one word: dominate. The Trojans would allow just five points the remainder of the way, closing the game on a 15-5 run to push their winning streak to three games.
“Our team earned this road victory. Jacksonville State is an extremely difficult place to play. They have a huge home-court advantage because the crowd and the band are right on top of you. It was loud and they had a good student section which made it very hard for our guys to me calling the plays. We fell behind by a bit, but our guys dug deep and turned the tables on them. It was good to see us pull this one out. Our guys were much tougher in the second half of this game,” said Troy men’s basketball head coach Scott Cross.
In that second half, for 7 minutes and 21 seconds, Troy went on a 10-0 run before Jacksonville State was finally able to score again.
The Gamecocks went 0 for 7 from the field and shot just three free throws in that stretch. Cross’s defense was able to force Jacksonville State to commit four turnovers.
On the offensive end for Troy, leading 55-52 with under 2:30 to play, junior Davion Thomas sent a shockwave of energy through the arena when he capped a fastbreak with a rim-rattling dunk while being fouled to make the lead six.
Jacksonville State was able to cut the lead in half again, but with 12.5 seconds remaining, Darian Adams hit two big free throws to clinch the victory.
Sophomore Zay Williams scored a team-high 16 points for Troy, followed by Adams’ 14.
This is Troy’s first three-game winning streak since December of last year - the Trojans won four straight to close out the 2018 calendar year.
The 2019-20 Trojans can push the win streak to four games next time out on Sunday. The Trojans are on the road at Chattanooga. That game will tip off at 3 p.m.