TROY, Ala. –On a special night for all Trojans, Troy (7-10, 2-4) defeated ULM (3-9, 2-4), 64-55, to win its second straight. Prior to the game, the surface at Trojan Arena was renamed “Court Maestri”, in honor of head coach Don Maestri and his 30-+ years at Troy.
“It’s a proud moment, but you are really so focused on winning the game,” Troy head coach Don Maestri said. “I’ve said it was a special honor, it’s surprised me and I don’t deal well with these things. I hope over the years, you hear the word ‘we’ when you hear about this program. The former players who were here tonight are responsible for this. The success of the program goes beyond the victories.”
Troy began the second half with an 11-3 run, with a true team effort, as five different Trojans scored. From there, Troy maintained the pressure and stayed up for the remainder of the game, eventually cruising to a nine-point win.
Emil Jones led the Trojans in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with 17 points. Ray Chambers was strong off the bench with 11 points and four rebounds, scoring in double-figures for the fifth time in six games. Josh Warren had his best game as a Trojans, tearing down a career-high nine boards and grabbing two steals.
Troy cooled down a bit from the last game, but still finished at 40 percent (24-of-60) from the field and 30.4 percent (7-of-23) from beyond the arc. ULM finished 22-of-48 from the field (45.8 %) and 5-of-20 from range (25.0 %). The Trojans out-rebounded the Warhawks 36-32 and committed just seven turnovers on the night.
“It was extremely important for us to pick up a win tonight,” Maestri said. “I think our kids did a good job tonight defensively. If we wouldn’t have made some stops in the first half, we could have been out of the game before the second half even started. ”
Troy battled back from an early 11-point deficit to cut the lead to just three at the half, before taking over for the final 20 minutes. Sparked by clutch baskets from Jones, Chambers and Hunter Williams, the Trojans out-scored the Warhawks 36-24 in the second half.
Troy returns to action next week with a trip to Florida. The Trojans will face Florida Atlantic on Thursday night at 6 p.m., and FIU on Saturday, January 19 at 6:30 p.m.
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