Trojans shock leading Knights

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 1, 2003

Senior guard Chaquita Alexander was the only senior honored on senior day for the Troy State women's basketball team.

She took advantage of the extra attention and tied a career-high with 29 points and set a school Division I record for three-pointers in a game as Troy State (16-10, 11-4) destroyed conference leader Central Florida (15-10, 11-3) 88-70. Alexander shot seven-for-11 from three-point range, tying the all-time mark set in the 1991 season by Jennifer Edgar against Delta State.

"I just wanted to let the ball fly," Alexander said. "I knew it was my last home game."

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Troy State head coach Michael Murphy had nothing but praise for his senior guard.

"What can you say about Chaquita Alexander?" he said. "She's a senior who showed senior leadership and hit seven threes. She played a great game."

Troy State shot almost 60 percent from the field (59.6), setting a new school record for field goal percentage. The Lady Trojans shot 68 percent from three-point range and their 88 points are the most they scored all season.

"The difference between winning and losing is making your shots," Murphy said. "I think a lot of our shots were made on the defensive end, forcing them to take bad shots or turn the ball over and getting good looks on the other end."

Troy State led by only seven points at the half, but pulled away in the second. After Central Florida's Shayla Smith hit a three to cut the Trojan lead to 45-41 with 18:46 left in the game, Troy State went on a 25-7 run to build the lead to 70-48. Alexander had 12 of those 25 points, all on three-pointers.

Troy State also got key contributions from Kim McGriff and Latoya Gay. McGriff scored 13 points and Gay scored 11. Gay also recorded five assists, four steals, a blocked shot and hit her only three-point attempt.

For Central Florida, defending Atlantic Sun player of the week Jessica Scala scored only six points and had only one assist.

Troy State is now in second place in the Atlantic Sun South Division. The Lady Trojans trail Central Florida by a half game and lead Florida Atlantic by the same margin after the Lady Owls lost 71-68 to Mercer Saturday.

Troy State ends its regular season Saturday on the road against Mercer. The Lady Trojans are still in contention for the Atlantic Sun regular-season championship.