Troy Tops Georgia Southern In Quarterfinals

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Chris Smith

Georgia Southern fell to the Troy Trojans 90-70 Friday night behind Wesley Persons 26 points in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Championship tournament in New Orleans.

With the loss, GS falls to 18-14 on the season and lose out on an opportunity to make it to the NCAA tournament. Troy, on the other hand, advanced all the way to Sun Belt championship where they defeated the Texas State Bobcats 59-53 for rights to the Sun Belt Championship. Troy will make its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 14 years.

In the Eagles loss to the Trojans, the Sun Belt’s leading scorer sophomore guard Ike Smith tallied 21 points shooting 56 percent from the field. Junior guard Mike Hughes added 12 points and five rebounds of his own in this contest.

GS had no answer for the efficient shooting by the Trojans. Troy, coming off a win against Appalachian State, had the hot hand. They came out the gate on fire from three-point range hitting five in a row in the first half to take a commanding lead. The Eagles could not find their range from downtown only hitting 13 percent of their shots from behind the arc and only 34.5 percent from the field in the first half.

The story of the game came from the Trojans star players Persons and Jordan Varnado. The Eagles could not keep either player in check, and they both exploded for 26 points. The deficit GS faced in the first half was too much for them to overcome and could not cut the deficit to single digits in the second half, which helped Troy cruise to the finish.

Next, the Eagles will wait to see if they will have a chance to play postseason basketball. Based on the selection committee GS might have an opportunity to participate in the NIT, CIT or CBI.