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Trojans outlast USA Jaguars for home victory

Troy’s Kylie Morrissy led the Trojans to their fourth straight win Saturday in a 66-63 victory over the visiting South Alabama Jaguars.

Morrissy dropped in a team-high 18 points as the Trojans (15-13, 10-8 Sun Belt) edged the Jaguars (19-10, 10-8) in Trojan Arena. But it was Alyce Shearing and Brittnie Davis who put the game away late for Troy.

Shearing nailed a three-pointer with 4:06 left in the game to put Troy up for good at 59-57 and Davis hit 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to pad the Troy lead.

“Shearing’s three was actually a planned play,” Troy head coach Michael Murphy said. “We were running a little pick and roll to get Kylie in the post. We knew Kylie would get doubled, which she did. We popped Alyce out and she was able to make the shot.”

Shearing had 13 points and six rebounds in the win and Davis added eight points.

Murphy said the performance was nothing that surprised him.

“During this stretch over the last six weeks we have had seven career highs from five different players,” he said. “That really shows maturity on the team’s part and it shows growth. They are getting better by sticking to what they do best. To have seven career highs in the last six weeks is amazing.”

The win marked Troy’s fourth straight victory and the seventh in the past eight games.

“We have only lost one game in the month of February and that was to Middle Tennessee who is ranked in the Top 25,” Murphy said. “I don’t care where you play or what game you play if you lose one game in a month that is pretty good. It is a heck of an accomplishment and it says a lot about our team.”

The Trojans led 35-32 at halftime and the teams traded baskets in the second half for the final.

Murphy said the Jaguars put up a tough fight and he knew they would.

“We beat a very good team,” Murphy said. “South Alabama is very well coached, they play hard and they have a good balanced scoring attack inside and out. We knew whoever had the ball last was going to win the game and we came with some big plays down the stretch.”

Morrissy said the Trojans could not be peaking at a better time, as they head into the Sun Belt Tournament.

“It is exciting to be playing well especially heading into the tournament,” Morrissy said. “All the girls are excited, happy and enjoying the way we are playing basketball.”

Troy is guaranteed a home game in the first round of the Sun Belt Tournament that starts Mar. 4, but the Trojans seed has not yet been determined. The Middle Tennessee-Western Kentucky and Denver-North Texas games played today will determine that seed.