Tookie Brown poured in 31 points as Georgia Southern came from behind to knock off defending champion Troy 86-80 and reach a program milestone in a Sun Belt Conference opener Friday night.
The win marks the first time Georgia Southern (10-4) has reached 10 wins before New Year’s Day. The Eagles trailed 45-41 at halftime and caught up at 49-49 on a Jake Allsmiller 3-pointer. Troy’s Wesley Person turned a 3-pointer into a four-point play after being fouled, but Brown and Ike Smith answered as the Eagles pulled even again at 53.
The teams battled through ties at 55-, 57- and 59-all before Brown made two free throws and added a 3-pointer for a little breathing room with 6:16 remaining. Georgia Southern led by as many as nine before Troy scrapped back with consecutive baskets by Person, who scored nine of the Trojans’ next 12 points, closing to 82-80 with 13 seconds left.
Brown and Mike Hughes, who had 12 points, closed out the game with four free throws. Brown was 15 of 19 at the foul line.
Person scored 29 to lead Troy (6-8).