Trojans play host to Mean Green tonight

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2010

After breaking a three-game conference losing streak Saturday with a road win over FIU, the Troy women’s basketball team will look to post back-to-back conference wins for the first time this season with a win over North Texas tonight at Trojan Arena.

“Anytime you can win on the road, you have to feel like you’ve done something significant and you’ve taken two steps forward,” said Troy head coach Michael Murphy.

Troy (9-5) enters the game at 2-3 in Sun Belt play, while North Texas comes in at 2-4 and 5-12 overall.

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While North Texas has struggled somewhat this season, the Mean Green will present a challenge for Troy in the form of its pressure-oriented defense.

“They like to do a variety of things, both offensively and defensively,” Murphy said.

“They are going to try and set the tempo with pressure, and we have to be able to handle that pressure, and then take advantage of the opportunities that will arise.

“We just need to be able to sustain playing with a purpose and poise on offense because they will be looking to create offense off of their defensive pressure.”

Rather than playing into the defense’s hands, Troy will look to turn the Mean Green’s trap on itself.

“Anytime you face a team that likes to trap or take some chances defensively, you need to be able to withstand that first trap,” Murphy said.

“If you can do that by getting the ball to the middle of the floor, you’ve got a good opportunity to score at the basket or at least get a high percentage shot. Any kind of defense is a give and take, so when you have a defense that tries to create a lot of chaos by putting two people on the ball, they’re going to be a man down.”

Troy comes into the game with a bit of momentum after its 61-59 win over FIU Saturday.

Prior to the game with FIU, Troy had lost three conference games in a row, with the most recent coming Jan. 6 in an 80-63 road defeat against Florida Atlantic.

Murphy said bouncing back from the poor effort against FAU was extremely important for the team.

“We struggled against FAU, so we felt like it was critical for us to play well against FIU after that effort,” Murphy said.

“We had done a lot of traveling before that FAU game, and it really showed when we tried to compete against them.

“So, against FIU, we knew we were going to face some mental and physical adversity. Our performance in that situation should give us some confidence because it really demonstrated our mental resolve.”