Sunday, March 12, 2017
Troy: 2016-17 Sun Belt Men’s Basketball Champions
NEW ORLEANS -- Jordon Varnado had 18 points and 12 rebounds and Troy defeated Texas State 59-53 in the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament on Sunday at Lakefront Arena.
The sixth-seeded Trojans (22-14) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003 after winning their third game in three days and fourth in the tournament.
The fourth-seeded Bobcats (20-13) defeated top-seeded UTA 83-62 in the semifinals.
Troy never trailed in the game after pulling even at 9-9, though the score was tied twice in the second half.
Varnado scored 10 straight points for the Trojans as they took control with a 57-50 lead with 14 seconds remaining.
Wesley Person, who was named the Most Outstanding Player in the tournament, scored 16 points and Jeremy Hollimon had 15 for Troy.
Kavin Gilder-Tilbury led Texas State with 19 points, scoring 16 in the second half.
Troy, which led the Sun Belt with 305 3-pointers, won despite making just 1 of 17 3-point attempts.
Troy: The Trojans enter the NCAA Tournament with momentum after beating the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 seeds in a three-day stretch.
Texas State: The Bobcats, who dominated a short-handed UTA team in the semifinals, could never get any consistent offense going against Troy.
Troy: Waits to hear its destination, seeding and first opponent in the NCAA Tournament.
Texas State: Was hoping to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997, waits to hear whether its season will be extended by an invitation to another postseason tournament.