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Dominant second half pushes Troy hoops past South Alabama

TROY, Ala. – Troy men’s hoops (8-14, 3-7 SBC) used a dominant second half to take down in-state rival South Alabama (7-16, 1-9 SBC), 79-74, on Thursday night in Trojan Arena.
TROY, Ala. – Troy men’s hoops (8-14, 3-7 SBC) used a dominant second half to take down in-state rival South Alabama (7-16, 1-9 SBC), 79-74, on Thursday night in Trojan Arena.

“We needed a win in the worst way,” said head coach Phil Cunningham. “I’m proud of the guys because they never slipped one inch in terms of attitude; they haven’t slipped any. It’s good to see them get a win and come out of that locker room with a smile on their face.”

The Trojans trailed by one heading into the break but came out firing in the second half. Hunter Williams scored 21 points in the final 20 minutes, including six 3’s, as Troy regained the lead and expanded it to double-figures.

South Alabama would make a run in the closing minutes, but a two-handed tip-slam by Josh Warren took the wind out of the Jaguars’ sails. The Trojans struggled from the line, allowing the Jaguars to close the once double-digit lead to four points in the final seconds.

Williams led the way for Troy with 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Kevin Thomas chipped in with 15 points of his own, while Jeff Mullahey finished with 13. Warren led the team with 10 rebounds, including three offensive.

Troy shot 46.3 percent (25-of-54) from the field and 45 percent (9-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Trojans outrebounded the Jaguars 36-31.

Augustine Rubit led the way for South Alabama with 25 points. Ken Williams and Barrington Stevens also scored in double-figures, finishing with 13 points each.

Troy took its first lead of the game with 49 seconds to play in the first half on a pair of free throws by Thomas. USA would respond with a dunk to take a one-point lead into the half.

Next up for the Trojans is a trip to Bowling Green, Ky., to take on Western Kentucky on Thursday, February 13. Tipoff against the Hilltoppers is set for 7 p.m.

Fans can keep up with all the action by following Troy men's basketball on Twitter at @TroyMensHoops and on Instagram at @TroyHoops.

For more information on all of Troy Athletics, fans can find the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram at @TroyAthletics, or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TroyAthletics.

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