Campbell ends Lady Trojans’ run in TAAC

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 11, 2001

ORLANDO, Fla.- The ride is over.

After a roller coaster regular season that was capped with a win at home over Campbell, the Troy State women’s basketball team just ran out of magic, falling to the top seeded Camels, 84-55, in the 2001 SunTrust Trans America Athletic Conference semifinals.

"We just didn’t hit our shots," said Troy State head coach Jerry Hester, whose team finished the season with a 15-14 record, their first winning season since 1996-97.

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"We couldn’t score and couldn’t slow the other team and we didn’t rebound.

We didn’t guard well, and I think every foul shouldve been callled.

In the end, we just didn’t guard well."

The Lady Trojans couldn’t buy a basket in the second half, hitting just 29 percent (11-of-38) of their shots in the second half.

The Lady Camels were unstoppable, hitting 60 percent of their shots (18-of-30).

Campbell’s defensive pressure forced 20 turnovers, as compared to the 11 committed by the Lady Trojans in the quarterfinal win of Jacksonville.

The biggest difference in the game was on the boards.

Campbell outrebounded Troy State 53-30.

Of those 53 rebounds, 18 were on the offensive end.

"We made it a point to work on rebounding this week in practice," according to Hester.

"We did a good job yesterday, but just couldn’t keep them off of the boards."

Campbell (22-6) got two double-doubles from their big duo of Crystal Clary and April Cromarite.

Clary, the TAAC Freshman of the Year, scored 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.

Cromartie, the TAAC Player of the Year, scored a game-high 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

Campbell’s head coach Wanda Watkins picked up her 350th career win.

She is now one win from leading the Camels back to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year.

The Camels jumped out early, going ahead 4-0.

Clary scored all four points in the opening minute.

The Lady Trojans would answer back with a three-pointer by Jennifer McInnis to cut the lead to one, 4-3, and would take the lead on another McInnis jumper to go ahead by one.

The defensive battle would begin there as the two teams would combine for just 22 points in the next eight minutes, as Campbell would take a 16-15 lead with just over eight minutes left in the game.

The Camels would go on a 9-0 run, extending their lead to 10 on two free throws by Cromarite, with just over two minutes left in the first half.

The Lady Trojans would answer back with a 6-0 run to end the half, as Laura Schwendeman and McInnis hit three-pointers on two straight trips down the floor, cutting the Campbell lead to 25-21 at the half.

Campbell extended their lead quickly to six early in the second half, but Troy State would answer back, cutting the lead to one as Schwendeman scored five unanswered poitns.

The Lady Trojans committed 14 fouls in the second half, resulting in 24 free throw attempts for Campbell, of which they hit 19.

Troy State would go to the charity stripe just 12 times in the second half, hitting nine.

The good free throw shooting by the Camels helped extend their lead to 10 with just over 16 minutes left in the game.

Campbell would go on a 12-2 run to go ahead by 20, 54-34, with just under nine minutes left in the game. The Lady Trojans would get as close as 17, but couldn’t get back in the ball game, falling 84-55.

McInnis led Troy State with 17 points. Chaquita Alexander added 12 off the bench and Schwendeman chipped in with 10.

"Our girls learned a lesson down here in this weekend," according to Hester.

"We’re excited about next season.

We’ve got a lot of good young players.

We signed one in the early period and excited about her.

We have some others that were hoping to get here to go with this freshman class.

It was good to have a winning season and something to build on for next year.

We’ve had a couple of bad years and we think we’ve got turned around in the right direction."

Troy State finishes their season with the second most wins since moving to Division I.

The Lady Trojans have seven freshman on this year’s team and lose just two seniors. Campbell advances to the championship where they will face either Georgia State or Stetson.