Trojans end streak

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 12, 2016

By Michael Shipma

The Troy women’s basketball team bounced back from a six-game losing streak as it took down Georgia Southern 84-68 in Trojan Arena on Thursday.

The Trojans (11-11, 6-7 Sun Belt) used a full court press and a disruptive defensive scheme to slow down the Eagles (7-15, 4-9 Sun Belt), holding them to 41.7 percent from the field in a game that the home team controlled.

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Georgia Southern jumped out to a 9-3 lead early in the first quarter. The duo of senior guard Ashley Beverly-Kelley and junior guard ArJae’ Saunders helped get the Trojans settled offensively, as they led their team on an 18-5 run to close out the first period.

Saunders led the Trojans in scoring, putting up 26 points and collecting eight rebounds.

Troy continued to make stops on the defensive end, forcing Georgia Southern into half court sets and using a 1-3-1 zone trap to generate turnovers and rebounds. The Trojans were also able to outrun the Eagles in transition, turning defense into quick buckets at the other end. Troy’s up-tempo style of offense that featured quick ball movement along the perimeter helped give Beverly-Kelley several wide open looks from beyond the arc, leading to 24 points and 5-15 made threes in the game for her.

The visitors refused to give in, however, as they were able to cut Troy’s lead that had been 22 points with 3:42 left in the third to just seven with 6:27 left in the fourth.

But once again, Beverly-Kelley’s shooting kept the Trojans ahead, and Troy was able to make the necessary stops down the stretch to help seal the victory.

Sophomore forward Sierra Butler led Georgia Southern with 19 points and six rebounds.

“It was very good to get a win tonight,” head coach Chanda Rigby said after the game. “I thought that ArJae’ Saunders really held the rope for us in the first half, not only with her shooting, but also with her rebounding. In the second half, she kept contributing, but Ashley Beverly-Kelley really came through in the second half and kept us out of reach.”

Troy will look to start a win streak on Saturday as they take on Georgia State. Tipoff in Trojan Arena is scheduled for 2 p.m.