The Troy men's basketball team (9-13, 4-7) ran into a hot-shooting Western Kentucky squad (12-11, 6-6) on Thursday night, falling to the Hilltoppers 65-61 at E. A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky. Hunter Williams had a tremendous night, scoring a career-high 23 points.
"We really battled back, absolutely played as hard as we could play," said head coach Don Maestri. "We made some big plays defensively, made some big shots. It's disappointing because you really had an opportunity to win here. I was really impressed with how hard we fought tonight."
The Hilltoppers shot 45 percent (9-of-20) from range, including 5-of-8 in the second half. Williams did his best to keep Troy alive, hitting 9-of-10 shots to start the game, including two deep 3-pointers that beat the clock. Emil Jones struggled from the field, but dished out a career-high nine assists, to go with six points and five boards.
The Trojans brought the game to within striking distance in the final minutes, as the press defense proved to work, but the Hilltoppers hit their free-throws to ice the game.
Troy shot 47.3 percent (26-of-55) from the field and 30 percent (6-of-20) from range. Troy got to the line just six times, hitting three, and was out-rebounded 31-25.
The Trojans led by as many as eight points in the first half, but allowed the Hilltoppers to come back and claim their own eight-point lead in the final minutes. Troy would respond with a 7-0 run to close out the half, capped off by a long-range 3-pointer by Williams, who finished the opening 20 minutes with 13 points.
The Trojans return home to face the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Troy Athletics