A dismal second half cost the Troy women’s basketball team Wednesday night, as the Trojans fell to Western Kentucky 63-56.
Troy trailed 32-29 at halftime, but went cold in the second half after shooting 44 percent in the first half. Troy shot a paltry 27.3 percent from the floor in the second half.
WKU started the half on a 9-0 run to go up 41-29, and never looked back.
The Hilltoppers led by as many as 17 before cruising to the seven-point win.
Despite the loss, head coach Michael Murphy said his team played hard.
“I’m really proud of my team’s effort,” Murphy said.
“I thought we battled extremely hard, but we just ran into a very good Western Kentucky team.”
The Hilltopper bench was key, outscoring Troy 12-0. WKU was also dominant inside, outscoring Troy 32-14 in the paint.
Sarah McAppion made her first start for Troy, something Murphy said took away from the team’s bench production.
“We just wanted to shake things up,” Murphy said.
“By starting Sarah, what you get is offense. She’s been pretty consistent with that all year long. But, with her coming off the bench, we get bench points, and we didn’t get that tonight.
“We’ve got a short bench, and we know that. But, if we can fix that, we have a chance to be really, really good at the end of the year.”
Troy appeared to be in control early on, taking an early 2-0 lead and leading most of the first half.
Troy led by as many as nine in the first half before WKU made its comeback.
The Hilltoppers closed the half on a 19-8 run, capped off by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Amy McNear to send WKU into the locker room up 32-29.
Senior Brittnie Davis had a career night in the loss, scoring a career-high 29 points on 10-16 shooting from the field, including five of seven from 3-point range.
McAppion scored 13 in her first career start for Troy.
“The thing is tonight we didn’t quite have the balance as far as scoring that we’re accustomed to,” Murphy said. “Brittnie Davis was heroic, and I expected nothing less from my senior.”
Troy will be back in action Saturday on the road against Louisiana-Lafayette.