Troy women erase 21-point deficit, fall in home opener

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Ashley Beverly-Kelley scored a team-high 18 points in Troy's home opening loss to Mercer on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012. (Photo/Tyler Myers)

The Chanda Rigby era as the women’s basketball head coach at Troy has started on a bit of a sour note as the Trojans have fallen in their first two games. But for a team that averaged just under 50 points per game last season, things are already starting to look up, even without the wins.

Troy (0-2) lost to Mercer on Wednesday in the team’s home opener, 96-90. The Trojans score 82 points in a loss to Winthrop to open the season on the road.

In the opening 15 minutes on Wednesday, the team looked fast, aggressive and hungry, something they lacked during last year’s 2-26 campaign.

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“We wanted the outcome to be different coming out in our first game at home,” Rigby said. “We’re going through some growing pains right now and they’re necessary. Whereas we would like it to look squeaky clean and pretty in front of our fans, what is most important is that get to be as good of a team as we can be.”

Troy trailed by as many as 21 in the second half, but came roaring back to cut the deficit to three with 1:40 left in the game.

Freshman Ashley Beverly-Kelley led the Trojans with 18 points. The Adamsville, Ala., native was happy about the personal performance but urged that team victories are most important.

“It didn’t turn out the way that we wanted,” Beverly-Kelley said. “I feel like we needed an extra push, not at the end of the first half, but the entire game.”

Troy pulled ahead by as many as nine in the first half, but the Bear ended the half on a 30-10 run.

Troy shot 48% for the game, but failed to cool the hot hand of Mercer’s dual threat of Precious Bridges and Tabitha Bradshaw. The tandem combined to score 28 points.

The Trojans scorched the net for behind the three-point line, shooting 12-for-23 from behind the arc.

Britney McCloud finished with 17 points. Jasmine Pitts had 14, while Kourtney Coleman chipped in with 12.

The Trojans return to action on Sunday as they host Furman. The game is set for a 2p.m. tip.