Loss marks a crossroads

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2000

for the Lady Trojans


Sports Editor

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The Troy State Lady Trojans reached a crossroads recently and if their last two games are anything to go by, they must have chosen the right direction.

The crossroads was a debacle against a Mercer team on Jan. 15 that TSU lost 61-56. It was a game that frustrated head coach Jerry Hester to no end and one that forced him to deliver an ultimatum to his squad of Lady Trojans.

"The thing that I didn’t like about that game was I didn’t see any fire or emotion in our kids," Hester said. "After a showing like that I felt like we could fold the tent up and drop the season because we couldn’t play any worse than we played. Or, we could use it as a challenge and work as hard as we could work to get better."

The later seemed to be the unanimous decision by his team. They showed focus in practice and the team leaders have stepped up their attention to detail in trying to salvage a 6-9 overall start.

Defense was the main focus for Hester and his squad after Mercer. He felt that, while his squad can score points with the best of them, their defense might be lacking and was almost non-existent that Saturday.

"We challenged them hard after the Mercer game and told them were going to work harder defensively," Hester said. "We had to get to where we could defend people and rebound if we were going to have any chance to win. Some nights you’re just not going to be as good offensively as you are others. When you’re not you have to find other ways to win the basketball game."

The defense picked up in practice and on the court. The focus and energy that the Lady Trojans showed that week led to two-straight wins, a 74-62 victory over Jacksonville and an 89-56 triumph over Stetson Saturday.

"I feel like the challenge we delivered culminated into a great experience for us Saturday night," the coach said. "Now we just have to take that positive feeling and build on it as we try to get even better. I think every team in this league, night in and night out, has to play emotionally and at the top of their game to win."

The Lady Trojans next challenge will come on the road at Georgia State Thursday.