Troy looks for consecutive wins against ULM

Published 9:52 pm Friday, January 28, 2011

The last time the Troy women’s basketball team took the court, history was made during a double-digit victory over South Alabama.

Tonight, the same may very well be said as the Trojans look for its first road conference victory of the season at Louisiana-Monroe.

Against the Jaguars, lone senior Donette McNair entered an exclusive club when she eclipsed the 1,000-point marker Wednesday night.

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Now, she is within striking distance of becoming just the second player in the school’s history to record 700 rebounds in a career.

With two more rebounds she will accomplish the feat, joining Mandee Armstrong as the only Trojans to do so since the program made the jump to Division 1 back in 1993.

It’s was her contributions, 21 points and seven rebounds, that helped improve the Trojans to 5-16 on the season and earn the team’s second win in the Sun Belt.

And while McNair has said in the past she does not care too much about her statistics, they are big part of helping her team earn more of what she does care about – victories.

“If we are going to win, she needs to score points,” head coach Michael Murphy said.

“The 1,000 points come playing in the Sun Belt Conference, which is by far the toughest women’s basketball conference this school has ever played in. There are player’s every year in this league who are drafted into the WNBA and make rosters. Women’s basketball in this league is exceptional and for Donette to do what she has done throughout her career says something about her abilities, her desire and passion for the game. We never talk about stats. The only think we talk about is working hard and trying to get better and making today the best day it can be.”

Against the Jaguars, the Trojans did just that.

Troy held South Alabama to just 41 points, which is its lowest total on the season, as the Trojan defense allowed the Jaguars to shoot just 25 percent and grab 27 rebounds, both of which were season lows for the team from Mobile.

South Alabama was also held to just 11 points in the first half, which were the fewest points allowed by Troy this season and a new school record.

But for Murphy and the Trojans, there is always room to improve.

“You can always be better defensively, you can always be a better rebounding team, you can always be a better shooting team – you are never where you want to be,” he said.

“We played good (Wednesday night). We shot almost 52 percent from the floor and had 42 rebounds. Most people would take that. That’s great and we were able to win the game because of those numbers but we are always trying to get better.”

Standing in the way of Troy winning two-straight games for the second time this season is Louisiana-Monroe, who is currently 11-10 overall, and 5-3 in conference play.

“Monroe, is more much like us in terms of size,” Murphy said, “they are not a very big team.”

“They are very athletic, our games over there have been very, very close. The last couple of games have literally come down to the buzzer. They will press us, they will try to up-tempo us, and I suspect they will throw a little zone at us. But we have to handle the pressure, like we did (Wednesday night) and make plays at the basket.”

Last season, the two teams split the season series, with each winning on their respective home courts.

This will be the only meeting in the regular season between the teams this time around however.

Tip-off will be set for 4 p.m. from Monroe, today.