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Troy women lose close one to Denver

Denver used 16 second-half free throws to defeat Troy in come-from-behind fashion Saturday night 60-58.

“We just didn’t defend well and we didn’t rebound well down the stretch,” Troy head coach Michael Murphy said. “You’ve got to be tougher in that situation, and down the stretch, we just didn’t get the job done.”

Denver’s Britteni Rice missed the first of two free throws with 15 seconds left that would have given the Pioneers (9-5, 4-0) a three-point lead, giving Troy the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead.

Troy (7-3, 1-2) had two shots at the basket on its final possession, but missed on both. Sarah McAppion missed a driving lay-up, followed by a three-point miss from Brittnie Davis. Donette McNair wrestled away an offensive rebound with two seconds left, but could not get a shot off before time expired.

Troy led by as many as 11 in the second half and held a nine-point lead with 7:52 left to play, but was outscored 21-10 from that point on.

Troy was outscored 19-7 from the free throw line, the second straight game the Trojans had been outscored by more than 10 from the charity stripe.

The Trojans were outscored 22-5 from the free throw line in Wednesday’s loss at Louisiana-Monroe.

“We just didn’t defend well enough down the stretch,” Murphy said. “They scored from the free throw line and off of second chance opportunities, and that’s the same way we lost to Monroe.”

Troy led 25-22 at halftime, and had led by as many as six in the period.

McAppion led Troy with 14 points. Alyce Shearing scored 11 and McNair scored 10.

Denver had only five players score, with Rice leading the way with 22 points. Brianna Culberson added 15 and Kaetlyn Murdoch had 14.

Troy returns to action Monday night at home against Army at 7 p.m.