PIQUA — It was a battle from the start.
Troy, whose last lead was 2-0, had tied Piqua at 39 with basket by Shaeden Olden Wednesday night at Garbry Gymnasium with 2:56 to go.
But, when it mattered most, Garrett Schrubb “rebounded” to give the Indians a 44-40 victory.
Piqua improved to 5-10 with the win, while Troy dropped to 8-8.
“We were able to gut it out,” Piqua coach Steve Grasso said. “And that is the way we are going to have to win games. Just keep battling.”
Troy coach Mark Hess said it was a tough one to take for his take.
“This one is going to sting,” Hess said. “This was a tough one, because I thought we did a good job with the controllables tonight. I thought we played good defense all night. All the things we can control. We just couldn’t get a shot to drop.”
Troy had one last chance, trailing 42-40 and called timeout with 18 seconds to go.
The Trojans got a great look in the paint, but it didn’t fall and Schrubb grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 9.6 seconds to go.
“We had a lot of good looks, they just didn’t go down,” Hess said. “I will take that shot every time.”
Grasso said with was a huge rebound by Schrubb.
“Earlier in the fourth quarter, I had taken Garrett (Schrubb) out,” Grasso said. “Troy got an offensive rebound when he got caught standing around. I told him, you don’t want that to happen in your senior year against Troy. That first rebound was the big one.”
First, because Schrubb wasn’t done.
He missed the front end of the one-and-one, but grabbed his own rebound at the other end.
Schrubb was fouled again with 6.3 seconds to go and it was deja vu.
He missed the front end of the one-and-one, but again came up with his own rebound.
“I don’t know if I have ever seen that,” Grasso said. “Not, twice in the final 10 seconds.”
Hess said it just can’t happen.
“The first one was a long rebound,” he said. “The second one, I am not sure what happened. But, in those situations we just have to find a way to get the ball.”
Dre’sean Roberts was fouled with less than a second to go and hit both free throws to seal the win. Roberts was 10-for-12 from the line for the game.
“Dre hit some big free throws,” Grasso said. “He had been struggling, but we have been working with him.”
Piqua had led 8-4, 21-16 and 34-30 at the quarter breaks, before Troy rallied.
Devon Sever had closed with a 3-point play in the third quarter when Troy was within 31-30.
“That was a huge ‘and one’,” Grasso said.
Troy was again within one one early in the fourth quarter at 36-35 when Tanner Kemp hit a 3-pointer.
“We could just never get the lead,” Hess said.
Kemp and Bryson Roberts combined for five 3-pointers in the big game.
“We had some guys hit some big shots,” Grasso said. “Those 3-pointers were big.”
Troy eventually tied it on the Olden basket, before Schrubb rebounded to seal the win for Piqua at the end.
Dre’sean Roberts led Piqua with 14 points and three assists.
Bryson Roberts was a perfect 3-for-3 from long range and scored nine and Kemp and Jerell Lewis both added eight points.
Olden paced Troy with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Jaden Owens had six points and four steals, Ryder Kirtley scored six points and Hollis Terrell pulled down five rebounds.
Piqua was 13 of 32 from the floor for 41 percent, including five of 11 from 3-point range for 46 percent. The Indians made 13 of 17 free throws for 77 percent.
Troy 13 of 34 from the floor for 58 percent, including five of eight from long range for 63 percent. The Trojans nine of 18 free throws for 50 percent.
Troy won the battle of the boards 23-21 and had 11 turnovers to Piqua’s 13.
The two teams will meet for the third time Friday night at the Trojan Activity Center.