Well the sweep was concluded as the Tops rounded out game number two of the Troy series with a victory. It was an exciting game towards the end as the Trojans gave the Topper crowd quite the scare. Let’s break it down fully.
The game was controlled by the Tops for then entirety of the event other than a tie that occurred with the score notched at 2-2. The Tops kept the steady lead up until the closing minutes of the game. Then that is when things got dicey. The Trojans found a hot streak and seemed like they couldn’t miss from behind the arc. In the final two minutes Troy made 3 three point baskets along with two 2 pointers. They erased a 12 point deficit down to just four in just below one minute and a half. Still, with the Tops capitalizing on FTs late, they were able to hang on to a game that shouldn’t of been that close.
For the Trojans they held the Tops as close as they could and almost came back. Their hot hand of the evening was Hunter Williams. Williams went 6 of 10 from behind the arc and ended the night with 22 points. Other high performers were Antoine Myers ( 15 pts; 6 reb; 6 ast) along with Kevin Thomas (13pts; 4 reb) and Kelton Ford (13pts). Troy didn’t have an awful night, WKU just had a little bit better game in almost every category. If there was one stat that set the two teams apart, it was the rebounding category. The Trojans fell short of WKU by 11 boards. With those extra possessions and put backs the Tops were able to have, really kept Troy behind throughout the night.
As for the Tops, they had an above average game and were able to win which was much needed after the loss monday night. The tops shot well in general, and also shot phenomenally from the FT line. They went 28 of 32 (88%), much improved from their season average of 67%. The Tops shot 44% from the field and went 29% from behind the three point arc. The Hilltopper stat leaders were T.J. Price (22pts; 4 reb; 9-9 from FT line), George Fant (16pts; 6 reb), O’Karo Akamune (10pts; 6 reb), and Peyton Hulsey (7pts; 9 reb). I think the Tops ability to take the ball down low really helped them in this matchup, as they were able to post up 32 to points in the paint. I also think that bench points played a huge factor in this one as well. WKU bench players stepped up and combined for a total 27 points. Now Troy had their own set of bench points put up, which helped them stay close. However I just really focus on the Tops because they have an offense that needs to be sparked and primed ever so often, and the bench contributions is what gets this offense going in times of drought. We’ve seen that same case time in and time out throughout this season.
Like I said the Tops needed tonights win to help them mentally and in the SBC standings, and they were able to capitalize on it. They played decent tonight but I still think and know they will have to play better in these closing SBC match ups. But we will save that discussion for another day.
With tonight’s win the Tops improve to 9-3 in the Sun Belt and hopefully will keep adding to that win column! They will stay in town for this weekend as they host South Alabama. WTRT will of course have you covered for Gameday so until that time, take it easy SBC!