Troy scores big 135-76 in season opener against Toccoa Falls
TROY, Ala. (troytrojans.com) – Troy started off the game hot and never looked back en route to a record-shattering 135-76 victory Friday in Trojan Arena against Toccoa Falls to kick off the season opener.
The Trojans scored early and often en route to the most points in a game since Nov. 14, 2007. Just 53 seconds into the game, Kevin Baker and Wesley Person had back-to-back threes to give the Trojans a lead they never surrendered.
Troy (1-0) raced out to a 22-5 lead at the 14:52 mark of the first half thanks to four 3-pointers and a dunk from DeVon Walker.
Before the 10 minutes had run off the clock in the first half, the Trojans had already built up a 42-9 lead en route to a 65-38 halftime advantage.
Ten different scorers logged points in the first half with Person and forward Jordon Varnado pacing the play with an identical plus/minus of plus 25 in the opening 20 minutes.
The size of the Trojans—four players on the opening day roster were listed at 6-foot-8—caused issues for Toccoa Falls as the Screaming Eagles had 12 turnovers in the first frame and allowed Troy to shoot 60 percent from the floor and 47.4 percent from 3-point range.
The 65 points scored in the first half marked the first time Troy had broken 50 points in the first half since they put up 54 against Arkansas State on Jan. 9, 2014.
Baker, echoing the start to the game, started the scoring in the second half by knocking down another three. The junior, starting in his first game after transferring from Pensacola State College, finished the game with 11 points fueled by 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc.
The guard wasn’t the only first-timer who put up big numbers. Alex Hicks, playing for the first time since suffering a knee injury that cost him the 2015-16 season, led the team with 19 points and added six rebounds and two steals to his total.
Not to be left out, Juan Davis, Jr., also in his first game with Troy, tied Baker with 17 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
Cameron Williams led Toccoa Falls (2-2) with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Conor Iverson added 18 points off the bench.
“It was a good way to start to give our guys some confidence,” head coach Phil Cunningham said. “We’ve got some guys who can really shoot the ball. One thing we’ve done consistenly in the entire offseason and preseason is really shoot the ball well from the 3-point line. That’s always a good thing when you can shoot the ball and we’ve got multiple guys who can shoot it from out there. It makes it hard to guard when you can stretch the defense like that.”
Stat of the Game
Troy finished just five points shy of the its most points since the turn of the century. The record since 2000 is 140 points scored in a victory over Oakwood on Nov. 24, 2003. The 135 against Toccoa Falls marks the third-biggest total in a season opener in school history.
Toccoa Falls clawed back to a 65-38 deficit going into the half, but any hope of a comeback was kept at bay in the second half. The Trojans never led by less than 30 after a Baker 3-poiner put Troy up 68-38 one minute into the half. With 10:10 left in the contest, Troy had built up a 101-52 lead.
• The seven players in double-digit scoring was the most in a game since Troy had six against Utah Valley on Dec. 8, 2012.
• The contest was the largest margin of victory since Troy won by 33 against LaGrange on Nov. 11, 2013.
- Troy was sharp all night from the 3-point line as the 19 converted 3-pointers were the most in game since hitting 23 versus Arkansas State on March 3, 2006.
- Troy converted on 51 field goals on the night, which were the most field goals in a game since making 52 against Oakwood on Nov. 24, 2003.
- It marked the second time in the Phil Cunningham era and the first since the second game of his tenure—the LaGrange game being the other—that Troy broke 100 points.
- Two players had career-best scoring games. Aaron Ariri hit double-digits for the first time in his career with 12 points and Shawn Hopkins surpassed his career-best total of 18 by scoring 19 against Toccoa Falls.• Person continued his streak of consecutive games with a made 3-pointer. The 61 games is the longest active streak in the nation.