Troy, AL (Sports Network) - Emil Jones jumper with 1.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference as the Troy Trojans beat the Mississippi State Bulldogs 56-53 in the season opener at Trojan Arena.
Tevin Calhoun was the lead scorer for Troy (1-0) with 12 points. Jones and Hunter Williams each added 10 points while Jones had a team-high eight rebounds.
Jalen Steele put in 16 points and pulled down seven boards for Mississippi State (0-1) which lost its first season opener since 2009. Trivante Bloodman had 11 points and Gavin Ware had 10 off the bench.
Both teams struggled some from the floor in the first half with Troy hitting on 38.7 percent of its field goal attempts while Mississippi State connected on 36.0 percent. Troy held a 21-3 advantage from three-point range to account for the 32-22 lead at the half.
Mississippi State roared back in the second half by knocking down 55.6 percent of its shots. Troy lagged behind at 33.3 percent but was able to hang on thanks to Jones' late-game heroics.
The teams were relatively even on the boards with Troy holding a slim 34-33 edge. Troy moved the ball better with twice as many assists as Mississippi State (12-6).