TROY, Alabama. – Troy faced defeat down six with 1:05 left, but Wesley Person was not to be deterred as the senior hit two 3-pointers to force overtime against Arkansas State on Thursday where the Trojans went on to win 89-83.
Person’s first three came from the top of the key with a man on him to cut the deficit to three. On the ensuing possession, Javan Johnson kept it a one-possession game with a block on Deven Simms with 35 seconds remaining.
With 15 seconds remaining, Person went to nearly the same spot as before and calmly drilled the tying basket. Arkansas State (9-16, 4-8) still had a chance to win it in regulation, but Johnson came up huge again with a block with two seconds on the clock.
All the momentum the Trojans (11-13, 5-6) gained from the final minute carried through to the extra period as Jordon Varnado scored five points to lead a 9-0 run in the first 2:55 of overtime.
The Red Wolves rallied to cut the lead to four with 1:12 remaining, however, that proved to be the final points of the night for the opposition as the Trojans locked in on defense to hold Arkansas State scoreless down the stretch.
It was a three-headed scoring attack as Person, Varnado and Alex Hicks all scored at least 17 with Person leading the way with 24. Both Varnado (18 points and 13 rebounds) and Alex Hicks (17 points and 10) rebounds had double-doubles.
“We thought we were playing well at half; both teams were playing good offensively,” head coach Phil Cunningham said. “We said that whoever stepped up and got stops was going to win. I don’t know if either team did, but at this time of the year you just have to find a way to win the game.
“We kept talking about that down the stretch of finding a way to win. I thought a lot of guys contributed. Obviously Wesley (Person) stepped up and made those shots, but I thought Juan Davis, Jr. gave us some energy and made a couple plays. Those guys in that locker room just never gave up.”
Troy will face Little Rock on Saturday at 4:15 in Trojan Arena in one of the final three home games of the season.
• It was the first overtime game since a 73-72 victory at ULM on Feb. 13, 2017 and the first home overtime game since Jan. 29, 2015 against ULM.
• Troy had a decisive 46-34 advantage in rebounds on the night.
• Person now sits just 61 points shy of becoming the first player in school history to record 2,000 career points.
For more information on Troy men's basketball visit TroyTrojans.com or follow the team on social media at @TroyMensHoops.