Trojans lose

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 13, 2003

The Troy State defense did its job Thursday night against Belmont, but the offense did not.

The Lady Trojans (12-9, 7-3) held Belmont (14-7, 5-5) to 26 percent shooting from three-point range, but Troy State shot less than 30 percent from the field and lost its second straight home game 67-58.

"When you hold a team to 32 percent shooting, you should win the game," Troy State head coach Michael Murphy said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Lady Trojans could not find any offensive consistency Thursday night, struggling to make open shots. The Trojans' leading scorer this season Thea Herring was held to just six points and was held to only a single field goal attempt in the first half.

"They did a good job of denying Thea the ball," Murphy said. "They doubled down on her and we couldn't get the ball down to her. We tried to get 'Quita (Alexander) some open looks, but she couldn't knock them down."

Alexander finished the game with 17 points, but could not shoot from the floor. Eight of her points were from the foul line, where she shot 80 percent. Her field-goal shooting was troublesome, though, as she hit only three-of-18 attempts. She was three-for-12 from three-point range.

The Trojans' biggest problem on offense was point guard Kerri Fiehrer's first-half injury. Fiehrer collided with a Belmont player 29 seconds into the game and suffered a cut above her right eye. She needed stitches to repair it and did not return.

"I was scared because I hadn't ever bled that much," Fiehrer said. "They put three stitches in it, I think, and told me to ice it down. I will be ready for Samford on Saturday."

The offense was never in rhythm behind point guard Shay Stewart. Stewart played the rest of the game, nearly the full 40 minutes, but she managed only two assists. She turned the ball over five times and scored four points. Her first basket came with 7:14 remaining in the game.

"The offense is bound to look different without Kerri in there," Murphy said. "She is the league leader in assists so she will see the court differently. There were several times in the game where Thea was open if the pass had a little air under it and Shay didn't make the pass. That comes from just not having enough experience out there."

Although they could not find any consistency on offense, the Lady Trojans fought their way into a close game. After Natalie Brown hit a three for Belmont to give the Bruins their largest lead at 51-38 with 6:05 remaining, Troy State went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to two.

Constance Kelly hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 51-41 and Alexander was fouled following a defensive stand. She hit the first free throw and the ball went out of bounds off Belmont after she missed the second. Laurie Tinsley's three cut the lead to 51-45.

Stewart then hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 51-47 and Kelly hit a running layup with 3:49 to go to cut the lead to 51-49.

Jenny Conkle ended the rally though with a three and Kelly dribbled the ball off her leg the next time down the court. Belmont pushed the lead back to nine on a pair of Chasity Campbell free throws and a Missy Walker layup, but the Trojans had one last rally to give.

Herring made a layup to cut the deficit to 58-51 and Troy State called timeout. The Trojans pressed the inbounds play and Belmont was whistled for a five-second call. Kelly got the ball and hit a shot to cut the lead to 58-53, but the Trojans never got any closer.