TROY — Behind a career-high 20 points from Ty Gordon and 16 points from KJ Simon, the Troy men’s basketball team defeated Georgia State University 75-65 Saturday afternoon at Trojan Arena.
Four players reached double figures for Troy (8-12, 4-5 Sun Belt Conference) led by Gordon (20 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists), Simon (16 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists) and Desmond Williams (13 points, 6 rebounds). Tahj Small added 10 points.
Troy outscored the Panthers (13-7, 6-3 SBC) 42-32 in the second period, using a 12-2 run to take a nine-point advantage over GSU with 2:09 remaining. The Trojans made five key free throws in the final minute to seal the program’s six victory in its last eight games at Trojan Arena.
The teams were tied at 33 all at the halftime break.
After Georgia State scored eight of the first 10 points to take a 41-35 advantage with 15:03 left, the Trojans, behind 3-pointers from Simon and Williams, used an 8-2 run to tie it back at 43-43 with 12:10 left.
The Panthers looked to be in control a few minutes later as a 12-7 run put the visitors up by five (55-50) with 7:43 left, but over the next four minutes, Troy responded with an 17-8 run to take a 67-58 lead with 2:09 left in the game.
Georgia State cut the Troy lead to 68-62 with 1:41 left, but the Trojans held the potent GSU attack to just two points over the game’s final 100 seconds.
Troy outrebounded Georgia State 43-38 and the Trojans dished out 18 assists on 25 made baskets.
Troy returns to action Wednesday at Little Rock for a 6:30 p.m. game.
Troy women 71, Georgia State 57: Troy snapped a three-game losing skid to Georgia State on Saturday with a 71-57 victory in Atlanta thanks in part to clutch shooting down the stretch to pull away from the Panthers.
The win pushes Troy to 14-3 overall and 5-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. Georgia State fell to 4-13 and 1-5.
With 3:58 to play and leading by just four, the Trojans found a rhythm they had been missing. Japonica James, who had missed eight consecutive free throws in the game, hit back-to-back freebies to extend the lead before Amber Rivers hit a jumper and Tyasia Moore back-to-back shots for her first four points of the game.
Harriet Winchester and James combined on four free throws before James made a layup to cap a 13-2 run over the final four minutes of play to close out the game for Troy.
Four Trojans finished with double-digit points. Rivers had a game-high 13 and was followed by James with 12 and Alexus Dye and Winchester with 11 each. James and Winchester led the way on the glass with nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
The Trojans shot 41.2 percent from the field on 28-of-68 shooting, while holding Georgia State to just 38 percent on 24-of-63 shooting. Troy struggled early at the foul line, starting off 1-for-11, including a stretch in the second and third quarters where it missed seven straight free throws, before making nine straight to close out the game 10-of-20. From the 3-point line Troy went 5-for-17 behind two big three-pointers from Janiah Sandifer.
As a team Troy outrebounded Georgia State 54-31. The +23-rebounding margin was Troy’s second largest margin of the season, behind +39 performance against AUM back on Dec. 4.
The Trojans are at home Thursday and Saturday. They host Texas State on Thursday at 6 p.m. and UT Arlington on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Troy-UT Arlington is a battle of first-place teams that could have Sun Belt regular season championship implications.