TROY, Alabama – Wesley Person broke the Sun Belt Conference record for most career 3-pointers, but it was not enough as Troy was unable to hold off Coastal Carolina in a 74-73 loss on Saturday in Trojan Arena.
Troy (8-11, 2-4) appeared to be cruising to victory after a Kevin Baker three put the Trojans up 13 with 13:05 left. Instead, Coastal Carolina (8-10, 2-6) stormed back with a suffocating defense that held Troy to two baskets in the final 13 minutes.
Despite the cold stretch, the Trojans still had the opportunity to pull off a win after Coastal Carolina missed two free throws up 74-73 with 33 seconds to play. Wesley Person proceeded to force a turnover after the Chanticleers grabbed the offensive rebound to give the Trojans the chance to win on the potential final possession.
With three seconds remaining, Jordon Varnado attempted to pass the ball out to the top of the key but his pass was deflected by Jaylen Shaw, who proceeded to sprint down the court uncontested to run out the clock.
Varnado continued his dominant streak since returning from injury as was tied for the lead for all scorers with 21 points on 7-15 shooting with six rebounds. He has now scored in double-digits in every game this season.
“It was a tale of two halves,” head coach Phil Cunningham said. “We played really well in the first half and took a commanding lead, but we just couldn’t sustain it. (Coastal Carolina) got back into the game pretty quickly.
“We got into some foul trouble in the second half, and down the stretch they just really wore us down on the offensive glass. We didn’t hold up. We’re playing a small, three-guard offense and we got hurt on the offensive glass.”
Troy will remain home to face Appalachian State on Monday after the game was rescheduled from Thursday.
• The Trojans did not have a basket in the final 2:46 of play.
• Person was held without a point in the second half on two shot attempts.
• Coastal Carolina shot 50 percent (15-30) in the second half while Troy connected on only 33.3 percent (8-24).