Troy women’s basketball falls to Auburn 71-54

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Troy women’s basketball team got off to a rough start Friday night, plagued by first half turnovers en route to a 71-54 loss in their season opener to Auburn at Auburn Arena.

For most of the first half, Troy hung with their SEC counterpart, but the Tigers finished the half with a 12-0 run that would ultimately be the downfall of the Trojans. After being down just 31-29 with 2:30 to go before halftime, the Trojans missed five shots and committed five turnovers on their last 10 possessions and Auburn took a 43-29 lead into the locker room.

Ronita Garrett she led Troy with 14 points and 13 rebounds for her eighth career double-double.  Preseason All-Sun Belt selection Ashley Beverly-Kelley was also in double-figures, scoring 12 points, although she committed nine turnovers.

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Auburn capitalized on Troy’s mistakes in the first half, scoring 21 points off of 17 Trojan turnovers.

“They did a fantastic job of taking us out of our running game,” Troy head coach Chanda Rigby said.  “We worked against what we though would be their zone press, but we have nothing, not even our men’s practice team, that can mimic the length they have.  That caused a lot of problems and stymied us.”

In the second half, the early hole Troy dug for themselves proved to great to come out of. They shot just 22 percent (8-of-36) after halftime.  Troy struggled from the floor all night, shooting just 27 percent (17-of-64) overall.

The Trojans were also dominated in the paint, surrendering 38 points to Auburn. Troy managed just 14.

Auburn’s 6-foot-3 center Tra’Cee Tanner led the Tigers in the paint with 16 points, on 6-of-7 shooting, to go along with 10 rebounds.

Three other Auburn players scored in double figures Friday as Khady Dieng scored 13 and Hasina Muhammad and Katie Frerking each scored 10 points.

Troy has a quick turnaround as it continues its season-opening road trip at Clemson on Sunday.  Troy and Clemson will tip at 1 p.m. inside Littlejohn Coliseum and the game can be heard on and in Troy on WTBF 94.7 FM.