Trojans End Two Game Losing Streak

Local Sports

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Hosting a team from New York City, it was only fitting that “Mr. New York City” came up big in Little Rock. Markquis Nowell finished with 28 points, adding six rebounds and four steals to propel the Trojans to the 67-56 win over St. Francis Brooklyn at the Jack Stephens Center.

“Markquis had some big plays for us tonight and really helped ignite our offense when it was struggling,” said head coach Darrell Walker. “It wasn’t a great night for us and we had times where it was really hard to score, but our defense came up big. When you’re not scoring, need to lock down defensively, and I thought we did a good job of that tonight.”

Game Notes

• Little Rock finished the game 18-of-52 from the floor as its 34.6% shooting was the lowest of the season. The Trojans made five of their 15 three point attempts but hit a season-best 26 free throws on 36 attempts (72.2%).

Markquis Nowell’s 28 points is tied for his season high, matching his output at Illinois State on November 10. He shot 6-of-12 from the floor and went 12-of-14 from the free throw line, adding six rebounds and four steals.

Ruot Monyyong notched his second-straight double-double and third in four games, finishing with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Kamani Johnson posted nine points and seven rebounds, matched by the nine points by Jaizec Lottie who pulled down four boards, had three steals and three assists.

Admir Besovic set a new career-best with eight points and four rebounds, going 2-for-5 from the floor and 4-of-5 from the free throw line.

• The Trojans held St. Francis Brooklyn to just 35.2% from the floor (19-of-54) and forced the Terriers into 16 turnovers, holding a 14-10 edge in points off turnovers. The 56 points by St. Francis was its lowest output of the season and 23 points off its season average of 79.

• Little Rock improves to 2-0 on its home court this season and picks up its first win over a member of the Northeast Conference, improving to 1-2 all-time against the league.

First Half Notes

• St. Francis Brooklyn played the aggressor early on, taking a 6-3 lead while limiting the Trojans to just three shots through the first four minutes while taking eight of its own.

• Little Rock responded with a 12-2 run over the next six minutes, pulling out to a 15-8 lead thanks to seven points from Markquis Nowell during the run. He also registered a steal and a fast break layup to Jaizec Lottie to extend the advantage to seven.

• The Terriers pulled to within three off an and-one on a three-point shot, but the lead was quickly pushed to 10 at the 8:00 mark off a layup from Lottie, followed by a three and a transition dunk from Monyyong.

• Little Rock’s run reached 16-2 over a five and a half minute span as the Trojans upped its lead to 36-19 at the 3:20 mark off a pair of free throws from Lottie. Monyyong tallied seven points during the run.

• St. Francis used an 8-0 run of its own over the final three minutes of the half, getting to within nine at 36-27 at the intermission.

Markquis Nowell led all players with 16 points at the half, followed by seven each from Ruot Monyyong and Jaizec Lottie. The Trojans shot 43.5% from the floor and were 4-of-9 from three in the opening half, making 12 of their 14 free throw attempts (85.7%).

Second Half Notes

• Nowell started the second half with a three to push the Trojan lead back to 12 at 39-27 before the two teams settled in to exchange baskets for the next seven minutes. St. Francis pulled to within eight at 46-38 with 13:22 left, thanks to a steal and fast break layup.

• Both teams struggled to find the basket for a three minute stretch as the two teams combined to go just 2-for-12. St. Francis pulled to within seven at 48-41, but a jumper from Besovic gave him eight, a new career-best, and pushed the lead back to eight at 50-41 at the 10 minute mark.

• A Little Rock scoring drought spanning just shy of four minutes allowed the Terriers to trim the deficit to seven at 50-43, broken by a pair of free throws from Nowell at the 7:39 mark to up his game total to 22.

• The free throws from Nowell sparked the Trojan offense, which rattled off six-straight to go on top by 13 at 58-45, a lead that reached 15 off an and-one from Johnson and a pair of free throws from Nowell as the Trojans used an 11-3 spark.

• Little Rock kept the Terriers at bay over the final six minutes, extending its lead to 16 at 67-51 with 2:36 remaining as Nowell notched his 28th point on a free throw coming off a Class B technical foul for flopping on the Terriers.

• St. Francis Brooklyn was held without a field goal for the final 5:02 of regulation as the two teams combined to go just 2-of-17 over that span. Little Rock finished the second half just 8-of-29 from the floor (27.6%) and 1-of-6 from three (16.7%).

Up Next

• Little Rock will have little time to rest as the Trojans return to action in less than 24 hours, hosting Alcorn State at the Jack Stephens Center Wednesday night. Opening tip against the Braves is set for 6:30 p.m.

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