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Troy women use pressure, hot shooting to rout Texas-Arlington

Troy women use pressure, hot shooting to rout Texas-Arlington

Brooke Bowie scored all 15 of her points from three-point land on Wednesday night. (Photo/Troy Athletics)
Brooke Bowie scored all 15 of her points from three-point land on Wednesday night. (Photo/Troy Athletics)

Troy forced  32 turnovers, and shot nearly 41 percent from behind the arc to roll past Texas-Arlington 88-72 Wednesday night at Trojan Arena.

The Trojans went on a 21-11 run early in the second half to build on the already large halftime lead.

“We knew that if they got the ball down to their post players, we wouldn’t have much of a chance,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby. “We put that challenge on our guards to create turnovers so they couldn’t get the ball to the post. We were trying to break the record and get as many turnovers as possible.”

Troy guard Brooke Bowie liked Rigby’s game plan.

“I love going after the basketball,” said Bowie. “We want to create chaos, and we love to do it.”

On offense, Joanna Harden turned in another solid performance. Harden led all scorers with 24 points. She also grabbed seven rebounds.

Bowie dropped in 15, with all her points coming from behind the three-point line.

“My shot was strong all week in practice,” said Bowie. “They kept leaving me open, so I just kept shooting it.”

With the win Troy pulls in to a tie for fifth in the Sun Belt and is playing for seeding against Texas State on Saturday.

Rigby wants to keep the momentum going, and is looking for her post players to make a difference.

“Texas State has the best post players in the league,” said Rigby. “It will be much more of post game on Saturday. We have to block out and not give second chances.”

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Troy women lose eighth straight game

The Troy women were unable to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit and fell to Louisiana-Monroe 83-72 Thursday night at Trojan Arena. The loss is the eighth straight for the Trojans.

Troy cut in to the ULM lead several times in the second half, getting it to nine points on multiple occasions, but never got any closer down the stretch. Troy was outrebounded badly in the first half, and loss the rebounding battle to ULM 55-38 for the game.

“It is getting a little too familiar coming in here after a game and talking about a loss,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby. “We are definitely putting everything we have in it to turn it around and get a win. The biggest overall stand out problem in the first half was rebounding.”

Troy’s only lead of the game was in the opening seconds of the contest when Ashley Beverly-Kelley drilled a three from the left wing on Troy’s first possession. The slow start saw the Trojans fall behind early, from which the Trojans never recovered.

Rigby said the problem is becoming all too common for her Trojans.

“It was the same song, but millionth verse,” said Rigby. “”We got off to a slow start. We have tried to work on that all week, but it didn’t work.”

Troy was led by Joanna Harden’s 32 points. Harden came in to the game sixth nationally in points scored per game. She eclipsed her average of 24.1 per game.

While Rigby is excited to have Harden producing so much, she is worried that some of her other guards are shying away from the basketball.

“I think I have some guards struggling with some confidence issues right now,” Rigby said. “They are pushing the ball out to Jo a lot quicker than they used to. We have some guards that can handle the ball, but when you have gone through so many losses, it will take a lot of pep talks and psychology to get them to realize it.”

The loss drops Troy to 4-12, and loses of eight consecutive games. The last win for the Trojans came way back on December 8, a 94-86 win over Evansville.

Troy plays host to Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday at Trojan Arena. Tipoff is set for 5:15 p.m.


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Troy women trounced by Florida, 104-74

Troy never could recover from a disastrous first-half stretch and fell to the Florida Gators 104-74 Wednesday night at Trojan Arena.

The Trojans led the Gators 11-8 early in the first half, but saw Florida go on a 21-0 run in a four-minute stretch to take a commanding they would never surrender.

Troy head coach Chanda Rigby said her team started well, but couldn’t keep the early momentum going.

“We came out strong,” Rigby said. “I thought we had control of the game for the first two or three minutes. Then we kind of took a step back when they went on a run. We never had a bounce in our step from there on.”

Outside of the bad stretch in the first half, Troy played with Florida for much of the contest, but the Trojans never could recover from the dooming opening stint.

“To me that is a sign of a young team,” Rigby said. “And by young, I mean a team that needs to grow up and learn how to compete no matter what. They took the air out of sails with the run they made.”

Troy went just 4-27 from three-point range, well under their season average.

The Trojans came in to the game averaging nearly 8 three-pointers a game, and was making over 36 percent of the long-distance shots for the season.

Troy shot just 14 percent from behind the arc in Wednesday’s loss.

“We are a shooting team, and we shot 14 percent from the three and that is unheard of us,” Rigby said. “That is a mental thing as well. We have people that usually hit over 60 percent in a game and tonight we couldn’t buy a basket. That would have changed things, if you could’ve made shots.”

Ashley Beverly-Kelley led Troy on offense.

The sophomore guard finished the night one rebound shy of a double-double, with 19 points and nine boards.

Beverly-Kelley said there are lots of things to learn from a night like Wednesday.

“We have to learn from it and get ready for Sunday,” said Beverly-Kelley. “I feel like we competed for the first three minutes of the game, but we need to compete for 40 minutes. We can’t hold our head down when somebody goes on a run. Teams are going to go on runs, we just have to make more runs.”

Troy returns to the floor Sunday afternoon against the Evansville Purple Aces.

Tip off is set for 2 p.m.


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Led by Joanna Harden’s record setting performance, Troy broke a two-game losing skid with a 118-103 win over Alabama-Huntsville Tuesday night at Trojan Arena.

Harden rewrote the Troy history book in the win, finishing the night with 52 points. Harden’s point total was not only new Troy women’s and Sun Belt Conference record; it is also the most ever scored in game at Trojan Arena, men or women.

Harden came in to the game hungry for a win, and wanted to do whatever she could to help her team get the W.

“We were on a losing streak, so I felt like we had to take responsibility of being a leader,” Harden said. “I came out to play. I was just determined to win tonight no matter what happened.”

Harden broke the Sun Belt single-game scoring record with a pair of free throws with 1:39 to go.

She broke the school record with a three pointer with 6:20 remaining in the game.

Head coach Chanda Rigby said she envisioned nights like tonight when she accepted the job at Troy.

“When Chancellor Hawkins offered the job to me, the first person I called was not my husband, E,” Rigby said. “It was to this young lady right here (Harden) to try to get her to sign, because the next day was signing day. My teams played against her where I was before. She can be unstoppable, and I am looking forward to many more moments like this.”

Ashley Beverly-Kelley gave Troy the lead for good with a jumper with 8:25 to go in the first half. The “fun-and-gun” style played by the Chargers and Trojans was a welcomed style for Troy.

Rigby looked forward to the matchup.

“I have been looking forward to playing this game,” Rigby said. “Their coach does a lot of things I really respect in the game. He likes to run the ball down the floor and change defenses. It is very similar to what we try to do. I have been wanting to play this game, and super excited to get a win.”

Outside of Harden’s historic night, Ronita Garrett notched a double-double with 10points and 14 rebounds.

Troy will play its next three games at home. The Trojans welcome Jacksonville in to the friendly confines of Trojan Arena Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Troy women knock off FAMU, 100-88

The Troy Women’s basketball team pulled away in the second half to capture a 100-88 win over Florida A& M Monday night at Trojan Arena.

The win gave Troy its first 2-0 start since opening the 2005-06 season 3-0.

The Trojans went on a 20-8 run to close the game, and secure the win over the Lady Rattlers.

“To me this was another one of those pivotal moments in our program,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby. “It was a very hard-fought game, and there were many times where it looked like the other team had it. But, nobody gave up. Everybody kept fighting, and we were able to get the win.”

The free-shooting Trojans went 12-for-29 from beyond the arc, and with Brooke Bowie knocking down four three pointers.

Bowie said Rigby encourages her to shoot when she gets the ball in her hand.

“As a shooter, you have to think that every time you put it up, it’s going to go in,” Bowie said. “If you don’t think that, you won’t shoot with confidence, and the shots won’t fall.”

Rigby agreed with Bowie, and said the Trojans don’t like to wait around to put the ball up.

“We don’t want to wait around for the next good shot, we want the first shot,” Rigby said. “It is nice to have someone like Brooke. When it hits her hand, she has the green light.”

FAMU guard Jasmine Grice finished with 33 points, on 12-of-27 shooting. However, Troy only allowed Grice to put up 11 points in the second half.

Leading up the game, Rigby gave Ashley Beverly-Kelley and Aissata Maiga the duty of guarding Grice, the pre-season Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Beverly-Kelley liked the challenge of guarding Grice.

“Aissata and both did a good job on her,” said Beverly-Kelley. “Coach Rigby and the rest of the coaching staff expects us to stop the fastest players, because we are the fastest on our team.”

Troy shot 92 percent from the free-throw line in the second half; something Rigby feels was key down the stretch.

“We didn’t do so well the last game on free throws,” Rigby said. “We shot a lot this week, and really gained some confidence. This is what we are capable of.”

Troy hosts Tennessee State Friday at Trojan Arena. The game is set for a noon tip.

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Troy releases 2013-14 women’s basketball schedule

For the second consecutive season, the Troy women’s basketball team will host an SEC opponent.

In a press release, Troy released its 2013-14 basketball schedule which is highlighted by a visit from the University of Florida on December 4.

The Trojans will face another SEC team in Tennessee on the road on December 14.

Head coach Chanda Rigby says the tough schedule is a product of the new Sun Belt Conference Tournament format.

“Once we learned that not every team in the Sun Belt will qualify for the tournament, using our non-conference schedule to prepare for conference competitions became critical,” Rigby said in a release.  “With that being said, we start off in November with six good teams that we feel we can be immediately competitive with. We need to win those games to gain confidence and poise.”

Troy will play Alabama State on the road to open the season on Nov. 8 before opening its home slate with Tennessee State on Nov. 11.

Troy plays Alabama, its third SEC opponent of the season, in December.

In the new 18-game, double round-robin regular season schedule, every Sun Belt team will visit Trojan Arena including new league members Georgia State, Texas State and UT Arlington.

In total, the Trojans will play 15 home games this season.

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Pair of athletes arrested during incident at local bar

Pair of athletes arrested during incident at local bar

Photo by Wes Johnson | Police cars line up outside the 315 Exchange in Troy just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday after reports of shots fired.
Photo by Wes Johnson | Police cars line up outside the 315 Exchange in Troy just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday after reports of shots fired.

Troy police responded to reported shots fired at 315 Exchange on Three Notch Street early Saturday morning. Troy football player Jadarius Garner and women’s basketball player Brooke Bowie were arrested for disorderly conduct. Both students have been suspended by the Troy University pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Multiple Troy police units arrived about 2:20 a.m. to find a large crowd in the parking lot of the establishment.

While the incident is still under investigation, Troy University Director of Athletics John Hartwell released the following statement on Sunday:

“We are aware of an incident that happened off-campus early Saturday morning and as a result we have suspended football student-athlete Jadarius Garner and women’s basketball student-athlete Brooke Bowie indefinitely. The University will continue to gather information about what happened and we will act accordingly as a result of the outcome of the investigation.”

Witnesses at the scene reported hearing between 3-5 gunshots. Once police arrived, bystanders reported one male was tasered in an attempt to restore order. It is unclear if the man tased was Garner. Police have not commented on whether anyone was actually tasered at the scene.

Garner, a Clarksdale, Miss. native,  is entering his sophomore season as a defensive lineman with the football program. He did not record any stats last season.

Bowie is a rising senior guard for the women’s basketball program. She averaged 4.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 14.4 minutes per game last season.

On April 11, a non-scholarship athlete was suspended after a pair of on-campus fights.

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Troy WBB completes signing class

Troy women’s basketball head coach Chanda Rigby announded the seventh signing to the 2013 class.

Aissata Maiga, a guard from Bamako, Mali, signed with Troy on Friday. Maiga is a 5-foot 6-inch product of Gulf Coast State College and will have two years of eligibility.

Troy’s 2013 recruiting class:

Kristen Emerson –6’1” – F – Prattville, Ala. (Prattville Christian HS)
Ronita Garrett –6’0” – F – McCormick, S.C. (Georgia Perimeter)
Revonnia Howard –6’2” – F – Chicago, Ill. (Rock Valley College)
Brianna Lancaster –6’0” – F – Waynesboro, Miss. (Shelton State)
Chant Lewis – 5’8” –G – Winnfield, La. (Winnfield HS)
Aissata Maiga – 5’6” – G – Bamako, Mali (Gulf Coast State)
Michelle Mitchell –5’9” – G – Eastman, Ga. (Darton State)

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Troy women’s basketball assistant accepts position at Clemson

Troy women’s basketball assistant Kayla Ard has accepted a position on the staff at Clemson head coach Chanda Rigby told The Messenger.

Ard spent one season on the Trojans staff and worked specifically with the guards and as recruiting coordinator.

Ard came to Troy after spending two seasons on Rigby’s staff at Pensacola State.

A native of Hammond, La., Ard was highly recruited out of Loranger High School after averaging over 26.0 points a game, achieving All-District three consecutive years and leading her team to three final four appearances, including a State Championship in 2000 under the direction of Rigby.

Ard will begin working with her new team beginning in May.

Clemson announced on April 8 that Audra Smith, head coach at UAB, would be named to the same position for the Tigers.

While Rigby says there has been a lot of interest in the vacant position, no timetable has been set for naming a replacement.

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Troy women erase 15-point deficit to defeat South Alabama

The Troy women’s basketball team trailed by as many as 15 points in the first have but used a 23-2 run to take down South Alabama, 62-49, in the opening round of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Hot Springs, Ark.

The Trojans (7-23, 4-17) in the No. 10 seed in the tournament. South Alabama was the No. 7 seed. Troy lost a heart-breaker to the Jaguars in the season finale, 71-70, on a last-second lay-in.

Coming into the game, South Alabama had won eight of the last nine and 15 of the last 17 meetings. USA led by four at halftime, 28-24, the Trojans came into the game 1-17 overall and 0-13 in SBC play when trailing at halftime. Troy held just one opponent to fewer than 60 points this season – a 56-39 loss to FIU.

Troy will play No. 2 UALR in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

It was the first-ever win for the Trojans in the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Hot Springs. Troy is now 3-7 all-time in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.