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Troy plays host to Belhaven College

After a week of final exams and practices following last weekend’s Georgia State tournament, the Troy women’s basketball team will be back in action today at 2 p.m. against Belhaven College.

This week has been the start of final exams for all Troy students, and student-athletes are no exception.

“When in finals, everything is turned upside down,” Troy head coach Michael Murphy said. “You can just throw your normal day and your normal routine out the window. You’re pretty much going to be practicing at a different time every day.”

It is that interruption of routine that troubles Murphy the most.

“Our biggest concern is just how the daily routine gets interrupted,” Murphy said. “Of course, the sleep pattern also gets thrown off, what with last night studying and all.”

Having a game placed squarely in the middle of the final exam schedule is something that is completely by design.

“They’re definitely ready to play. The game Saturday should provide a welcome relief from finals,” Murphy said.

Apart from the stresses of academia, the Trojans have also had to continue to work hard on the court, and have responded well.

“Practice has gone well,” Murphy said.

“It’s been good to have a week off, and that’s something we scheduled intentionally. We feel like that gives the student-athletes the optimum opportunity to have success during finals.”

Troy comes into today’s game at 3-2, and Murphy said the team has played to his expectation level so far.

“We’re pretty much where we thought we would be at this point, maybe even a little ahead,” Murphy said.

A couple of Troy’s newcomers have also impressed Murphy in the young season.

Sophie Kleeman, I think, has come in and gotten off to a really good start,” Murphy said.

“Courtney Hawkins has also had to play a lot of minutes. We really threw her to the wolves against Auburn, and she responded very well.”

Not everything has been positive, however, as Murphy insists there is still work to be done.

“I’m fairly pleased, although our defense has got to get better,” Murphy said.

“I’d have to say that if there’s an area where I’m concerned, it’s our defense.

“We just have to learn to play better defense, communicate better on the defensive end and get some of the basic premises of defending the basketball down.”

Troy and Belhaven tip off today at 2 p.m. at Trojan Arena.