TROY, Alabama – On a sunny day in Troy, Wesley Person made it rain in Trojan Arena en route to a 93-71 win over UT Arlington in Troy’s first game at home in more than a month.
Person had a career-high 39 points on a career-high 10 3-pointers. The junior also had a career-high 13 field goals on 13-19 shooting.
It didn’t take long for Person and the Trojans (10-8) to show off the offensive firepower that would be displayed throughout the night. UT Arlington (12-5) led for just 48 seconds in the game and never in the second half.
Two free throws by Kaelon Wilson tied the game at 14 with 9:56 left in the first half, but that would be the last time the game was within reach for the Mavericks.
Person quickly turned the game into a 3-point shooting clinic. By halftime, the guard was up to 20 points on five 3-pointers to give Troy the 46-36 lead at the break.
Any attempt for the Mavericks to cut into the deficit coming out of the half was quickly thwarted by a 12-5 run in the first 4:13. From the 4:44 mark of the first half through the end of the game, Troy led by double-digits for all but 17 seconds.
With Troy leading 77-62 with 5:22 to go, Person pulled up near the top of the key and launched a 3-pointer that hit nothing but net and gave him 33 points.
That shot surpassed his pervious career-high of 31 points that he ironically set against UT Arlington on Jan. 5, 2015 of his freshman season.
His night still wasn’t over yet as he hit two more 3-pointers for good measure to get to his total of 39 points, which was just eight points shy of the Troy record of 47 points set by Calvin Aultman against Jacksonville State on Feb. 28, 1991.
While Person stole the show, it was also a huge night for Jordon Varnado. The forward had 24 points on 10-16 shooting and three rebounds. That total was just three points shy of his career-best 27 points against Alabama A&M earlier this season on Dec. 10.
“I thought we were really read to play,” head coach Phil Cunningham said. “We had fresh legs, and Jordon Varnado and Wesley Person really played well tonight. That was a really good win and one we needed to get moving forward.”
Stat of the Game
Wesley Person’s 10 3-pointers highlighted a stellar shooting night by Troy from deep. The Trojans were 17-31 (54.8 percent) from 3-point range compared to UT Arlington’s 4-25 (16.0 percent) night from downtown. Kevin Baker added three 3-pointers and Jordon Varnado had two. Troy’s 17 3-pointers were second best on the season trailing only the 19 connected on in the season opener against Toccoa Falls.
Though Troy won by 22 points, it was one of Wesley Person’s 10 3-pointers that killed any momentum the Mavericks might have had. Two free throws by Kaelon Wilson and a 3-pointer by Drew Charles cut Troy’s lead to nine with 7:17 remaining. Just 18 seconds after Charles’ three, Person answered with a three of his own to get the lead back up to 12. Troy led by double-digits for the rest of the game and led by at least 15 for the final five minutes.
• After celebrating the 25th anniversary of Troy’s 258-point game against DeVry on Thursday, Wesley Person came just close to tying a record from that game. His 10 3-pointers were just one off the Troy record of 11 set by Brian Simpson against DeVry.
• The four 3-pointers allowed on the night tied the second-fewest amount an opponent has had against Troy this season. The season-best was just three allowed against Alabama A&M on Dec. 10.
• Jeremy Hollimon had 12 points on the night and increased his streak of double-digit scoring to 12 games.
Troy will now host Texas State on Monday night in Trojan Arena at 7 p.m. For more information on Troy men’s basketball, follow the team on social media at @TroyMensHoops or visit TroyTrojans.com.