Troy Men’s Hoops Falls at Little Rock
LITTLE ROCK – The nation’s top defense proved to be too much for the Troy men’s basketball team to overcome, as Little Rock maintained its position at the top of the Sun Belt standings with a 72-49 victory over Troy on Thursday night at the Jack Stephens Center.
Little Rock (20-2, 10-1 Sun Belt) used a 28-11 run in the early stages of the second half to turn a 28-22 halftime lead into a 23-point advantage with 8:44 to play in the game. Little Rock entered the game holding opponents to an NCAA-best 58.3 points per game, while holding teams to 37.4 percent shooting from the floor – the fifth-best mark in the country.
John Walton III continued to play well for Troy (6-16, 1-10) as he scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting in addition to pulling down six rebounds. He has scored in double figures in eight of the last 12 games and five of the past six.
Wesley Person reached double figures for the 43rd time in his 51-game career as he scored 13 points and grabbed three rebounds. Person was 3-of-9 from beyond the 3-point line and has now hit a 3-pointer in every game of his career, which is the longest active streak in the country.
Troy shot 38.3 percent from the floor – higher than Little Rock’s season average – but struggled from beyond the arc hitting on just 6-of-20 attempts. Little Rock connected on 46.6 of its attempts from the floor in the game and shot a torrid 50 percent (9-of-18) from 3-point range.
Marcus Johnson, Jr., led Little Rock with 18 points, while Josh Hagins added 15 points and five rebounds. Jalen Jackson came off the bench to chip in 13 points, while Roger Woods pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Little Rock led from the onset and jumped out to leads of 8-0 and 23-11 before Troy battled back to make it a close game at the break. Person scored seven points over the closing minutes of the half, including four in the final three minutes as Troy ended the half on a 6-0 run.
Troy wraps up its two-game swing through the state of Arkansas with a Saturday night tilt at Arkansas State. Tip between the Trojans and Red Wolves is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.