Trojans topple Panthers, extends win streak to 4

Kieffer Punter drives to the basket against Georgia State.
Kieffer Punter drives to the basket against Georgia State.(Troy University)
Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 12:57 PM CST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WSFA) - The Trojans men’s basketball team took down Georgia State on the road 65-53 on Thursday night for their fourth win in a row.

The win put the Trojans (12-6, 4-1 SBC) in a three-way tie for first place in the Sun Belt. The victory also makes the team’s fifth road win of the season.

Georgia State didn’t make it easy on Troy, especially in the second half. The Panthers came out of halftime and went on an 8-0 run taking a 35-30 lead before Aamer Muhammad drained a three-pointer to cut the Panther lead down to two.

Around the midway point of the second half, the Trojans took the lead on a Darius McNeill layup and never relinquished it again. They went on a 17-1 run and extended the lead to 55-45. Although, Georgia State gathered its composure and was able to cut that lead down to four points with 2:08 remaining in the game.

In the closing minutes of the game, the Trojan defense stood its ground and didn’t allow another point. Kieffer Punter nailed a three-point shot with under a minute to go, basically sealing the deal, and McNeill went 2 for 2 at the free-throw line pushing the lead to 10 points with 40 seconds remaining.

After the game, head coach Scott Cross expressed his contentment, saying, “It was a huge win. Our guys were really locked in and gritted it out. That 17-1 run was huge for our team. It’s the third conference game where we get that huge late-game run. These guys are figuring out how to win. Obviously, it happens with defense. Our guys forced 20 turnovers with 12 steals. And to hold them under 40 percent from the field is phenomenal. That’s what it takes to win on the road. Just overall, a huge win for our guys.”

Zay Williams, who recently reached 1,000 career points, had 12 points on the night. Williams also tied Jeff Black for sixth all-time in career blocks at the school with two blocks in the game, putting his career total at 97.

The Trojan’s road trip continues Saturday against Appalachian State at 4 p.m. in the Holmes Convocation Center.

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