Troy women fall to MTSU in OT

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, January 5, 2012

By Ben Maxwell

It took the Blue Raiders (11-5, 3-0) extra minutes to overcome a strong Troy (1-13, 0-3) shooting surge at home on Thursday. The Trojans, whose best shooting percentage all season was 40 percent going into the contest, shot 50 percent in both halves. However, it was a 20 percent shooting performance in overtime that finally gave the Blue Raiders a chance to claim victory.

“We took our time and didn’t get in a hurry,” said head coach Michael Murphy. “We’ve been more focused on slowing the game down and by doing that we give ourselves a chance to see what’s available.”

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Both teams struggled with a slow start giving up seven total turnovers in the first four minutes. However it was the Trojans who found their mark first. The Trojans shot 50 percent from the field as they fought off an aggressive Middle Tennessee defense that brought an early full-court pressure. The Blue Raiders struggled shooting only 33 percent. The high percentage performance gave Troy a 27-19 lead going into half time; their first halftime lead this season.

Dominique Ross, who originally stepped in for the injured Tenia Manuel earlier in the season against Denver, made her presence felt early in the first half. The sophomore forward who had only totaled 16 points all season going into Thursday’s matchup, racked up seven points in just the first half shooting 3 for 3 from the field and 1 for 1 from the free throw line.

The Trojans maintained their strong shooting throughout the second half as they shot exactly 50percent again. Unfortunately the Blue Raiders were able to improve their shooting percentage to 41 percent in the second half.

The Trojans battled the Raiders closely for the lead in the second half but with help from a last second jumper from DeAngela Sword and a missed Middle Tennessee free throw; the Trojans faced with their second overtime game of the season.

In overtime Middle Tennessee found there rhythm shooting as they shot 50 percent on top of Troy’s 20 percent in overtime. Middle Tennessee outscored the Trojans 14-8 in the extra time making the final score 72-66 with the Raiders claiming victory.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” said Murphy. “We put together two really good halves against a really good team. We have the utmost respect for Middle Tennessee and what they do on the court.”

Troy will now only have a short time to prepare for their next opponent as they travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on Western Kentucky. Tipoff is set for 1 pm.