Troy women#039;s hoops squad downs Mercer

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 3, 2004

Freshmen are supposed to have to adjust to the speed and intensity of conference play.

It takes a game or two before they settle in and begin to play the way their coaches expect them to play.

Someone forgot to tell that to Troy University freshman Amy Lewis.

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In her first Atlantic Sun Conference game, the freshman from Australia tossed in a career-high 21 points to pace all scorers and help lead the Trojans to a 63-50 win over Mercer University in their A-Sun opener on Thursday night.

Lewis also tallied five rebounds, four steals and four assists in the contest just to prove she could do a little bit of everything.

&uot;I just tried to play my own game,&uot; Lewis said. &uot;My game is really to get up and down the court, and tonight things just worked out where I was able to get some good shots and make them. Everyone really did a great job of finding the open player and then taking good shots.&uot;

&uot;Amy brings a whole new dimension to our team that we didn't have last season,&uot; Troy head coach Michael Murphy said. &uot;Last season we were missing that one extra perimeter player, and Amy gives us that. I thought she played an excellent game tonight. She's a very skilled player and we're looking for her to continue to grow as a player. You have to remember she's only a freshman.&uot;

The outcome was never in question with Mercer failing to take the lead for the contest. The Trojans put four players in double figures, while the Bears managed to place just one player in double figures.

Sophomore Audrey Muse and junior Alecia Jones each chipped in 13 points, while sophomore Valensia Hairston added 12.

Seniors Kerri Fiehrer and Laurie Tinsley were the only other Trojans to record a basket. Fiehrer tallied one point, while Tinsley chipped in three.

The Trojans connected on 25-of-61 attempts, including a 3-for-11 performance from 3-point range, while the Bears hit just 17-of-58 attempts, knocking down 2-of-19 3-point shots.

&uot;I thought we did a good job of moving the ball around tonight and finding the open player, and then the girls did a good job of making the shots when they had the opportunity,&uot; Murphy said. &uot;There are some areas we need to work on, but I was pleased with the way our girls came out and played.&uot;

The first 20 minutes of play belonged to Troy, and more accurately - belonged to Lewis.

The freshman did it all, pouring in 17 first-half points on 8-of-10 (80 percent) shooting, while also hauling in three rebounds and dishing out two assists.

Lewis single handedly outscored the Bears in the first 10 minutes of play, tallying 13 points to the Bears seven.

Muse chipped in eight first-half points to help the Trojans to a 37-26 lead at the intermission. Muse hit 4-of-8 attempts in the first half, helping lead Troy to a 47.2 shooting percentage in the first half.

Mercer shot just 32 percent from the floor in the first half, while failing to hit a single 3-point attempt.

Troy could do no wrong offensively in the first half, connecting on 17-of-36 attempts from the field. Lewis tossed in the Trojans' lone 3-point basket when the freshman knocked in a basket from the left wing.

The Bears were led by Miller's seven first-half points.

It was more of the same in the second half, with the Trojans managing to stifle any potential rally Mercer even came close to mounting.

The Troy defense held Mercer to just 27.3 percent from the field and an anemic 14.3 percent from behind the arc in the second half. Troy managed to hold onto its lead while hitting just 32 percent of its shots from the field and 2-of-6 3-point attempts.

&uot;I was really pleased with the way we played tonight,&uot; Murphy said. &uot;I thought the girls showed a lot of intensity and really got after it tonight. I was proud of all of them for the effort they put in.&uot;

The Lady Trojans will be back in action on Saturday for the first conference game on the road, when Troy travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia State. The game is set to begin at 1 p.m. CST.

&uot;Getting this win was big as far as building our confidence, especially with the game coming up on Saturday,&uot; Lewis said.