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Saturday Sun Belt recap: Wesley Person and Troy hand UT Arlington another loss

Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, and Georgia Southern also won

NCAA Basketball: Troy at Mississippi Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Wesley Person is typically a guy Troy head coach Gus Cunningham can rely on for lots of points and lots of threes.

The second-team Sun Belt selection last year and former conference freshman of the year has been a consistent performer since he slipped on a Trojan uniform, tallying nearly 1,000 points in his first two seasons.

In a matchup with conference favorite UT Arlington, Person shook off a recent slump and came out firing from the perimeter, to lead the Trojans to a 93-71 win.

Person converted a pair of four-point plays and connected on one more three on his way to 20 first-half points, as Troy led 46-36 at the break.

The Mavericks, playing without star Kevin Hervey, hung around, and a Drew Charles three made it a 69-60 with 7:17 to go. But Person countered with his seventh three 18 seconds after that.

Person’s 10th three capped the scoring for Troy, as the junior scored 39 points — a mark that Trojan fans had not seen in nine years.

Person shot 13-19 from the field and hit 10-15 from three, but wasn’t the only Trojan to have a standout performance on the evening. Jordon Varnado had 24 points and eight rebounds, shooting 10-16 from the field. Troy moved to 10-8 overall and evened its conference record at 2-2.

Erick Neal scored 22 points for UT Arlington, but the Mavericks had a tough night from beyond the arc, shooting 4-25 from distance. The Mavericks dropped to 12-5 and 2-2 in Sun Belt play.

Around the league

In other conference action, the lone unbeaten team in the Sun Belt remained that way, as Georgia Southern scored 51 second-half points to erase a six-point halftime deficit and take down Louisiana on the road, 81-76.

Ike Smith had 28 points and seven rebounds for the Panthers as they moved to 11-6 and 4-0 in Sun Belt play.

Jay Wright scored 21 points and Bryce Washington recorded yet another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds as the Ragin’ Cajuns fell to 12-5 and 2-2 in conference play.

Arkansas State had a big second-half charge in Little Rock. The Red Wolves trailed by as many as 14 points, but outscored the Trojans 46-29 in the final 20 minutes, to win 77-72 and halt a two-game skid. The Red Wolves moved to 12-6 and 3-2 in conference play.

Devin Carter, who scored only 10 points total in his last two games, scored 28 points, and Deven Simms added 22 more off the bench. The Red Wolves hit 26-32 from the foul line, despite their season average of 64 percent.

Little Rock had five players in double figures, paced by 15 from Marcus Johnson Jr. as the defending conference champions fell to 11-7 and 2-3 in Sun Belt play.

Coastal Carolina scored its fourth straight Sun Belt victory, dispatching Appalachian State, 85-73, with Jaylen Shaw scoring 20 points. The victory gave Cliff Ellis 800 wins for his career, as moved the Chanticleers back to .500 at 9-9.

Two overtime tilts saw South Alabama take down Texas State, 72-67, behind 26 points from Shaq Calhoun, and Georgia State defeating Louisiana Monroe, 73-65, with Jeremy Hollowell leading the way with 24.