TROY, Ala. Men's
In front of one of the biggest crowds in Trojan Arena history, Troy went coast-to-coast on the final possession and earned an 81-79 victory after Jordon Varnado put a layup in with just 2.7 seconds remaining on Monday night in Trojan Arena.
His shot ended what looked to be certain overtime after Appalachian State (8-13, 3-5) went on a hot streak in the final minute to tie things up. Troy (9-11, 3-4) led by five with 48 seconds remaining before things got interesting.
Griffin Kinney got a layup with 36 seconds remaining, which Appalachian State then capitalized on by stealing the inbounds pass to get another layup to cut it to 78-77 with 29 seconds left.
Alex Hicks only hit one free throw on the ensuing possession and the Mountaineers responded by tying it up on a basket by Justin Forrest with eight seconds on the clock.
Hicks had key awareness as he found Wesley Person streaking down the sideline before Appalachian State could regroup. Person’s shot was off the mark then B.J. Miller’s attempt was no good before Varnado rewarded the effort with the winner. The Mountaineers heave from half court was off the mark at the buzzer.
Troy benefitted from a balanced scoring attack that saw four players in double-digits with Person leading the way with 16. The Trojans had just one 3-pointer in the first half but adjusted to shoot 6-8 from deep in the final frame.
Amber Rivers and Kayla Robinson collected double-doubles while freshman Jasmine Robinson turned in a career performance as Troy held off Appalachian State, 81-74, in Trojan Arena on Monday snapping a four-game losing streak.
Both Rivers and Robinson scored in double figures for the second consecutive game as Robinson led all scorers with 21 points (9-17) and 10 assists for her first career double-double, while Rivers was in double-digits for the fourth straight game with 15 points (6-16) to go along with 10 rebounds. Rivers has now scored 10-plus points in 14 of 18 games this season.
Sanders dropped 16 points and knocked down a trio of 3-pointers along the way. The Charlotte, N.C., native also had seven rebounds, two blocks and a pair of assists. Chelsey Gibson joined the double-digit club as well finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The Trojans (8-10, 3-4 Sun Belt) led for 36:11 of the game but could never comfortably separate themselves from the Mountaineers (5-14, 3-5). Troy built its lead out to 11 points at 56-45 – its largest of the game – with 5:10 left in the third quarter, but Appalachian State used an 11-2 run to close the gap to just two near the end of the period.
After scoring 16 points in the second half against Coastal Carolina on Saturday, Robinson picked up right where she left off turning in 11 in the opening quarter. The Trojans got off to a slow start in the second quarter making just one of their first eight shots and briefly falling behind before shooting 48 percent in the second half to keep the Mountaineers at arm’s length.
Despite allowing 42 points in the paint, Troy held App State in check from range allowing just one 3-pointer on 14 attempts in the game, the fewest since allowing one to Little Rock on March 12, 2014. Appalachian State missed on its first 11 attempts from deep and made its only 3-point basket with 9:15 left in the game.
Troy collected 52 rebounds in the game compared to just 38 by App State. The Trojans have recorded 50 or more rebounds eight times this season.