Trojan lock down
Michael Vogler and Regis Huddleston nailed down the first conference win for the Troy Trojans Thursday evening in a 94-87 victory over the FAU Owls in Trojan Arena.
The Trojans (4-6, 1-1 Sun Belt) held an 86-81 lead over FAU with 1:10 remaining in the game and the Owls (4-7, 0-2) were forced to foul. Huddleston and Vogler combined to make 9-of-10 free throws in the final minute of the game to ice the victory for Troy.
“It is all about poise,” Vogler said. “You have been shooting free throws ever since you picked up a basketball. It is the same routine every time you step up there and it is all about confidence.”
The win was the first game between the two schools in the past two years not decided by six points or less.
Tom Jervis did not show up big in the scoring column, but Troy head coach Don Maestri said Jervis was a force to be reckoned with late in the game. As the Trojans made a 12-0 run late in the game down 63-60, Jervis stepped up and blocked a few shots and got the crowd involved with a slam dunk.
“I’ll tell you, he is playing better,” Maestri said. “Experience is going to help Tom more. His size is a factor and he is a much better player than he was a year ago.”
Jervis used that size to hold Sun Belt First team all-conference player Carlos Monroe to 17 points and four rebounds while scoring four points and grabbing seven rebounds.
“(Monroe) is a strong guy and he knows how to use his body inside,” Jervis said. “But I always like to have a challenge. It makes you play better and play harder because you want to outdo the guy. It is a boost when you get to play against a guy like that.”
The Trojans opened up a 4-3 lead early and stretched it to 9-5 and Travis Lee was one fire connecting on his first two three-point attempts in the first eight minutes of the game. Troy was 3-for-6 as a team during that span.
“I was feeling it and this being a conference game it meant even more to get off to a hot start like that,” Lee said.
Lee and Vogler led the Trojans with 15 points apiece. Vogler added six assists and was 6-of-8 from the charity stripe.
Despite the deep range shooting, Troy trailed 18-17 through the first eight minutes of play. The Trojans then went on an 8-0 run to take a 25-19 lead.
The Trojans led by as much as 11 a few times in the first half, but FAU cut the lead to 44-41 with 51 seconds left in the first half.
Chris Leggett nailed both free throws for a 46-41 Troy lead at the break.
It was more of the same in the early going of the second half with Troy building a lead and the Owls cutting into that lead.
The Owls briefly held a lead before the Trojans grabbed the lead back with a 12-0 run midway through the half.
Troy went up 72-63 after being down 63-60.
“Vogler was a key part of that because he ran the show, created and made a couple of passes and drove to the basket,” Maestri said.
Brandon Hazzard, Huddleston and Richard Delk joined Vogler and Lee in double figures scoring.
Hazzard had 14 points and Huddleston and Delk had 11 points apiece.
Delk added six rebounds and Hazzard chipped in five rebounds.
The Trojans travel to Birmingham for a rematch with UAB tomorrow.
Tip off is set for 1 p.m. Troy hosts the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Monday at 7 p.m.