Trojans fall to Jaguars at packed Mitchell Center

By: Charles Harrison | Sports Editor

Photo by Brad Puckett /USA Strategic Communication

The South Alabama men’s basketball team overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to defeat Troy.

It was a game of runs with the Jags and Trojans trading the lead across 40 minutes. The Jags came out fast, taking a 10-2 lead over the Trojans, with junior guard Herb McGee hitting a layup and a three-pointer back to back.

The run wouldn’t last as the Trojans quickly responded, outscoring the Jags 18-6 through the next seven minutes. The Trojans then continued to pull away, outscoring the Jags 42-30 to finish out the half.

The Jags came out and laid it on, outscoring the Trojans 51-33 in the second half.

A combination of the shots falling and an exceptional defense allowed the Jags to pull away in the second half. The Jaguars, who have struggled at time shooting from the 3-point line, hit eight three-point shots and shot a strong 69 percent from the field.

“I thought we got really good shots and I thought we were unselfish,” head coach Richie Riley said of the second half shooting. “I know we got the ball in spots where we could be successful.  We tried to get Trhae Mitchell driving downhill a lot, and he really made good decisions; he was able to create shots for guys and they were ready to knock it in whether it was Rodrick Sikes, Korey Holden and even John Pettway.”

Finally, it was the amazing personal effort that allowed the Jags to pull away in the second half, with three different Jaguars playing the full 20 minutes of the second half.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the win was it took place in front of a packed Mitchell Center, with a crowd of 4569.

“What about the crowd?” Riley said. “It was phenomenal, it was special to me.  For our guys to be able to play in front of that many people, and for them to help us win the game is incredible.”

With the win, the Jags move to 11-11 on the year and are currently No. 9 in the SBC rankings.

The Jags remain at home this week for a Thursday Feb. 7,  matchup against the Arkansas State Red Wolves.