Trojans get back to conference play, road

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Following an out-of-conference win over St. Francis, the Troy women’s basketball team will return to Sun Belt play today when it takes on Louisiana-Monroe on the road.

The Trojans have had a week of rest since the St. Francis win, a time head coach Michael Murphy said the team has used to mentally prepare.

“With the four days off following the St. Francis game, we just wanted to be sure that we got our legs back under us,” Murphy said. “We’re not really going to change anything. We just need to make sure that we’re mentally prepared for the challenge they will present.”

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Troy readied itself for the challenge of playing on the road by intentionally scheduling the long road trip to New York for the St. Francis game. Prior to that contest, the Trojans had not played on the road in over three weeks.

“We’re just happy we played a road game before we went to Monroe,” Monroe said. “We intentionally positioned the St. Francis game so we would have to go on the road and face those challenges. I think we learned a lot about ourselves against St. Francis, and that should help us against Monroe.”

That experience of playing on the road should come in handy against ULM, as the Warhawks have traditionally played well in Monroe.

“Monroe is a team that really plays well at home,” Murphy said. “The games we have with them there are usually very competitive.

“We did not play well there last year at all, but I’m expecting the game this year to be close and competitive, like it usually has been.”

Regardless of where the game is played, ULM will present a tough challenge for Troy on the hardwood.

“They are a pretty athletic team,” Murphy said.

The key for Troy will be avoiding pointless fouls, as the Trojans bench does not have a whole lot of depth.

“Because our bench is so short, we can’t afford to get into foul trouble, especially on the road,” Murphy said.

“We overcame that against St. Francis, but you don’t want to have to try and overcome that too many times.”

Troy and Louisiana-Monroe will tip off tonight at 7 p.m. in Monroe, La.