Troy State smothers visiting Samford Bulldogs

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 27, 2003

The Troy State Lady Trojans shut down the Samford Lady Bulldogs in the second half of their match-up on Saturday afternoon at the Trojan Arena. The Lady Trojans banged out a 23-6 second half run over the final 13 minutes of play to claim a 55-45 victory.

"I thought we played well defensively against a team that came in here on a mission," said Michael Murphy, coach of the Lady Trojans. "Samford played well. O thought the difference in the game was our defensive pressure. We held them to six points over the final 13 minutes, including eight points from Herring in the final four minutes."

TSU opened the game with a 7-0 run.

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Samford scored their first points of the game on a three pointer by Chelsee Insell to bring the score to 7-3.

The Lady Bulldogs followed up that score with a run of their own, putting them up 14-12. From that point, both teams traded leads with Samford having a four point lead with time winding down before the intermission.

TSU took the inbound pass and pushed down the floor, working the ball around the arc until finally putting it in the hands of Kim McGriff.

McGriff drained a turn-around jumper as the clock sounded at 0:00, cutting the Lady Bulldogs lead to two, 26-24.

Samford started the second half with an 8-0 run expanding their lead to 10, 34-24.

The Lady Trojans, led by senior Chaquita Alexander brought the game to within four, then to within two with two free throws.

"We knew from there that we had to take it one possession at a time and we would take it," said Alexander.

The two teams stayed within four points of each other.

"Quita is a senior, she's the second leading scorer in the league," Murphy said. "It's important that she make shots. Tonight she shot better than she did on Thursday, which is credit to her. We challenged her at the half and she came through. But being the lone senior, being a captain, being all-conference, you have to shoulder a certain amount of burden and she had done that all year. Tonight she came through with some big baskets."

At the 5:20 mark, Samford's coach Mike Morris got whistled for a technical foul after constantly arguing with the referree. The straw that broke the ref's back came following a called charge against a Samford player when Morris stomped on a cup full of water in disgust of the call.

The ruling sent Alexander to the line for the Lady Trojans for two free throws. She made both of them and expanded the TSU lead to 45-41.

Samford was allowed only four points by the TSU defense through the end of the game.

Statistically, the Lady Trojans shot 42 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point land.

The TSU defense only allowed SU to hit 3-of-11 three pointers in the second half.

The Lady Trojans return to the road Thursday night for a meeting with the Dolphins of Jacksonville University. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.