familiar place:Trojans enter conference schedule with hopes of making a run at Sun Belt Tournament
Published 3:30 am Friday, December 25, 2015
The Troy Trojans women’s team transitions into conference play with the same 5-4 record they held last year at this point, head coach Chandra Rigby hopes the best is yet to come.
“We were kind of feeling the same way last year as we do now,” Rigby said. “We wish we would have won more games.”
In the Trojans’ first six games they averaged 110 points in their wins over Stillman, West Alabama, Fort Valley State and Nicholls, and they led the nation in scoring.
As the competition level increased with opponents like Vanderbilt and University of Alabama-Birmingham, the Trojans averaged only 70 points per game.
“You don’t always find your true identity in those games that you can jump out and win by 40 points,” Rigby said. “It’s only through struggle that you find your true identity. That is what we have been going through.”
The Trojans have struggled on defense, especially against tougher opponents. In the last four games the Trojans have allowed 84 points per game, something they want to see improve over the next two months.
“We have worked really hard on our defense,” Rigby said. “We have done everything that we can possibly think of to put an emphasis on the defense. When you do that, it has the tendency to slow up your offense. For us to be where we want to be, we have to be a defensive team.”
The Trojans use a hockey-style substitution plan, rotating four to five new players every few minutes. It’s proven successful to date.
“That’s the thing that kind of keeps me up at night,” Rigby said. “We have so many talented players. If we could get points for being so deep, we would win every game. We need to play them in the right spot and have the right matchups in the game. That is a big challenge as a coach and a leader to make sure that we are utilizing that talent in the right way.”
The Trojans will open the conference schedule with back-to-back home games against Arkansas State and Little Rock. The key for Rigby and the Trojans is to take one game at a time.
“We need to take every game one at a time and find a way to win it,” Rigby said. “We can’t worry about the next one or one later on down the road. We need to find a way specifically in each game to find a way to win.”
The Trojans tip off against Arkansas State at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 30.