Lady Trojans still fighting for spot in A-Sun tourney

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 21, 2002

When the Troy State women’s basketball team plays host to Atlantic Sun Conference leader Belmont on Thursday night at Trojan Arena, more than just pride will be on the line.

The Lady Trojans (8-16, 7-10 A-Sun) are in a battle to secure the final position in the 2002 Atlantic Sun Conference Basketball Championship March 7-9, which will also be held at Trojan Arena. The Lady Trojans lead rival Jacksonville State by just a half game for the final position with three games to play. A win over the Bruins (18-5, 12-4 A-Sun) would push the Lady Trojans a long way toward securing that final spot.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. on "Senior Night." Admission is free.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

"It is a big game for us in a number of ways," Troy State head coach Jerry Hester said. "First, we need to keep winning in order to secure a spot in the tournament. Playing the No. 1 team in the conference also makes this big. More importantly, though, right now our team needs something good to happen. We are playing well, and have come close the last few times out. Maybe this game will provide the break we have been looking for."

Jacksonville State (7-16, 6-10 A-Sun) plays at third-place Georgia State on Thursday and then at fourth-place Campbell on Saturday. JSU then ends the season at home with games against second-place FAU and third-place UCF on Feb. 28 and March 2, respectively. Should TSU and JSU end the season tied in the conference standings, the Lady Trojans own the tie-breaker by virtue of their two-game sweep of the season series.

Troy State concludes its season on Feb. 28 and March 2 at seventh-place Stetson and last-place Jacksonville, respectively.

"There is still a lot of basketball left to be played," Hester said. "But I think our girls will be up to the challenge."

That challenge starts on Thursday against league-leader Belmont. The Bruins defeated Troy State, 75-53, in Nashville on Jan. 5.

Before Thursday’s game, the Lady Trojans will bid a regular-season farewell to guard Rebekah Waters, the team’s lone senior. Waters will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.