Troy downed by Middle Tennessee State at home

Published 10:36 pm Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Troy women’s basketball team was looking to find some of the same magic it used in an upset victory against Middle Tennessee State on Feb. 10. The Trojans knocked off the Sun Belt Conference’s top team that night, 74-70, in overtime. No such magic existed on Thursday as Troy fell to the Blue Raiders, 85-63, at Trojan Arena.

Middle Tennessee State knocked down 17 three-pointers, just four shy of tying the NCAA record, and shot 42.9 percent from the field.

“We still did what we set out to do. They have one of the strongest inside games in the country. We wanted to shut down their post players and I think we did a good job of that,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby. “Who knew that they would shoot so well from outside as a team as they did.”

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Troy fell behind early, 22-9, but closed the gap to 11 with 5:28 remaining in the half. MTSU’s hot shooting made it difficult for the Trojans to mount any sort of comeback as they extended their lead to 25 at the break.

The Trojans came out firing in the second half and went on a 15-0 run to cut the deficit to 19.

Troy showed plenty of energy for the entire game. The fuel for that energy came partly from the fact that this is the last time Troy and Middle Tennessee State will play as conference opponents as the Blue Raiders head to Conference USA next season. Also, Rigby alluded to a “Go Raiders” ad that showed up on a billboard in Troy this week.

“We’ve got to take the emphasis off our emotions and back on X’s and O’s,” Rigby said. “You could tell we really wanted this game. We really want them all.”

Joanna Harden and Dominique Ross led the Trojans with 12 points each. Britney McCloud added 10.

Troy shot 33.3 percent (20-of-60) for the game and was 4-of-15 from three-point range.

Troy will play its last home game of the season on Saturday as South Alabama pays a visit to Trojan Arena. Game time is set for 5:15 p.m.