South Alabama snaps Trojans’ win streak

Published 10:52 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2009

MOBILE — Troy was unable to hold off South Alabama down the stretch, despite career nights from Kylie Morrissy and Donette McNair, falling to the Lady Jags 68-60 Wednesday night at the Mitchell Center.

Morrissy led the Trojans with a career-high 28 points on 10-of-22 shooting on the night from the floor. She also was perfect from the charity stripe, connecting on all seven free throws, while adding seven rebounds. McNair tied her career-high with 15 rebounds, including 10 on the defensive boards.

South Alabama (12-5, 3-3 Sun Belt) was led by Ra’Shawna Sippio with a career-high 22 points and career-high six blocked shots. She also recorded 11 rebounds and her fifth career double-double.

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The second half was a back-and-forth affair as the two teams traded the lead 11 different occasions in the final 20 minutes of action.

Troy (8-8, 3-3 Sun Belt) took their biggest lead of the game at six when Morrissy connected on a lay-up with 12:12 to play in the contest, giving Troy a 47-41 lead. The Trojans were able to maintain the lead until Starling connected on a 3-pointer with 10:13 to play for a 48-47 South Alabama lead.

Troy was able to come back and take a 52-51 lead with 7:23 to play when Alyce Shearing connected on a short jumper. After South Alabama took a 53-52 lead, Troy took their final lead of the night at 54-53 on a pair of free throws from Morrissy with 6:38 to play in the contest.

After a Danielle Realph 3-pointer tied the game at 57 with 4:53 to play in the contest, South Alabama used a pair of 3-pointers over the next 29 seconds to push the lead to as many as six. Shakira Nettles connected on the first 3-pointer for the Lady Jags, connecting from just in front of her bench for a 60-57 lead with 3:43 to play. Jessica Starling connected on the second South Alabama 3-pointer, from the same spot as Nettles for a 63-57 lead with 3:14 to play.

The Trojans trailed by as many as seven points in the first half after Sippio connected on the back end of a two-shot foul with 3:47 to go in the first half, giving South Alabama a 26-19 lead.

Troy was able to cut into the lead when Realph connected on a 3-pointer with 3:30 remaining, trimming the deficit to 26-22. The basket was Realph’s first 3-pointer since the WKU game back on December 22.

After a South Alabama basket, the Trojans trimmed the lead to 28-25 when Morrissy converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way. The senior connected on a driving pull-up jumper and was fouled by South Alabama’s Jessica Starling, before converting on her free throw attempt with just 1:21 remaining in the half.

The score stayed that way until the halftime buzzer, with both teams having their opportunities in the final 81 seconds. The Trojans missed a jumper with 55 seconds remaining, while South Alabama missed on their opportunity with six seconds remaining before turning the ball over. Trailing by three, the Trojans called a timeout but Realph’s halfcourt shot hit the backboard, falling to the floor as the buzzer sounded.

The first half featured seven ties and three lead changes, with the Trojans holding their biggest lead with 19:49 remaining in the first half.

Troy returns to action Sunday afternoon on the road against ULM. The game is set to tip at 2 p.m.