Trojans hope to end losing skid at home

Published 10:11 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The new year has not started off the way the Troy Trojans women’s basketball team would have liked.

Only once in 20011 has Troy walked off the court victorious, against Florida Atlantic, back on Jan. 4.

Since then, the Trojans have lost five-straight games, and have lost nine of their last 11 games.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The win over the Owls earlier this month was the team’s lone win in Sun Belt play.

“I think we have come out and competed really hard,” head coach Michael Murphy said Tuesday afternoon.

“I mean obviously it’s disappointing when you don’t win, but all you can do is play your best and hope your best is going to be good enough. We have had some ups and downs (this season), but I was very encouraged with how we competed in our last couple of Tonight will be just the second home game for the Trojans in a 37-day stretch and first since North Texas came to Troy just 11 days ago and left with a 72-55 victory.

Just last week, the team was emerged in some serious travels as it competed against Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky in four days.

The team arrived in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Tuesday after practice at 11:30 p.m. the night before the game, only to leave less than 24 hours later, returning to Troy at 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

Friday night, the team again departed from Troy after practice, this time heading to Bowling Green, Ky., where it arrived at midnight.

In both cases, the Trojans returned home losers, but even despite the recent string of bad luck the Trojans have experienced, the team is hoping a return to Sartain Hall will help turn things around.

Tonight, they will get that chance against conference rival, South Alabama.

The Jaguars enter the matchup with a 12-7 overall record, and 4-3 in conference play.

The team from Mobile is averaging nearly 66 points per game this season, while only allowing its opponents to score 55 points per game.

In the all-time series between the two teams, both are tied at 15 wins apiece.

However, in Division 1 play, the Jaguars are 12-4 against the Trojans, including an 8-5 mark when playing in Troy.

The biggest difference between the two teams may not be in the statistics, but in the personnel, according to Murphy.

“Their top six (players) consists of four seniors and two juniors, while our top seven consists of one senior, one junior and sophomores and freshman,” the coach said. “There’s a huge gap there in terms of experience, and I think that is the biggest difference between the two teams.

“Our depth has been our biggest challenge this season, trying to get these young people and first year players able to compete on a consistent basis at this level. We have to overcome some hurdles but I am really encouraged by how our kids have competed and have prepared. Regardless of the challenge or difficulty ahead of them, they have the same daily enthusiasm and work ethic. They are always willing to prepare and to give it their all and that’s really all that I can ask of them.”

It’s the aforementioned enthusiasm that has Murphy believing in this year’s team, despite its 4-16 record.

And while that record may not impress some, the team is focused on getting better for the present, and not worrying about what has already happened or what will happen.

“Regardless of where you are in the standings, the philosophy, since I got here, was to take it one game at a time,” Murphy said. “To focus on the present.

“We can’t change the past and can’t effect the future by guessing what is going to happen, all we can do is focus on the present and that is what we do. We treat every game on the schedule as the most important, because it is the next game and then we move on from there. When we go play South Alabama, that is going to be the most important game on the schedule, and we are going to try and make (today) be the best day it can be and let everything else take care of itself.”

The Trojans will shoot for a home victory tonight against South Alabama, with a tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m.