Trojans drop season opener

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 12, 2016

Auburn used a suffocating and unrelenting press defense to near perfection Friday evening, downing Troy 61-52 in the season opener for both teams.

Troy committed 38 turnovers in the game, with Auburn racking up 25 points off the Troy miscues. The season-opening loss was disappointing to Troy head coach Chanda Rigby, as she feels her team can do more than just keep it close against an SEC team.

“This team is good enough to beat them,” Rigby said. “We did have a stretch of adversity there that kept bringing us down instead of us finding the maturity to break the momentum. That’s what we worked on for seven practices – just that press. I knew it was going to give us trouble, but I would’ve never thought it would be over 30 turnovers.”

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The Trojans kept the game close in the first half by living off the deep ball. Troy went 7-for-18 from three-point range in the first half, including a pair of treys from Caitlyn Ramirez and Jayla Chills.

The long-range luck didn’t carry over to the final two stanzas, as Troy connected on just one three in the second half. The cold-shooting streak in the second half didn’t stop the Trojans from putting the shots up, but Rigby would’ve liked to see her team try a different approach down the stretch.

“We should’ve gotten the ball inside more,” Rigby said. “We told them at half that we may not shoot it as well in the second. We put La-Tia Fils-Aime’ in the post some because we feel she is strong enough to score on their post players. We did not do a good job of getting the ball down there.”

Troy pulled within five with 8:47 to go, on the only made three pointer of the half, but Auburn made just enough plays down the stretch to keep a comfortable lead.

Ramirez led the way for Troy with her fourth career double-double, picking up 13 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. She was the only Troy player in double figures in either category.

The Trojans return to action against Belmont Wednesday at Trojan Arena. Tipoff for the game is slated for noon.