Trojans fall to Jaguars

Published 9:03 pm Thursday, March 14, 2019

NEW ORLEANS – Troy’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament title quest came to a halt Thursday with an 87-74 overtime loss to No. 7 South Alabama in the quarterfinal round in Lakefront Arena.

The third seeded Trojans (22-8) struggled throughout the game shooting just 34.5 percent (30-87) and scored just 16 points in the final 15 minutes of the game. South Alabama shot 42.9 percent (30-70) for the game and dominated the overtime period, 18-5.

The Jaguars (23-9) opened a double-digit lead in the first quarter, 22-11, its largest until overtime, with an 11-0 run taking advantage of a 0-for-10 Troy slump. Christen Carter made her first seven shots of the game and scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half.

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Troy responded in the second quarter outscoring South Alabama by 10. The Trojans scored 16 points in the paint and Harriet Winchester’s late free throw gave Troy a 37-36 lead heading into the break.

The second half was owned by Shaforia Kines. The junior guard had 20 points in the final 15 minutes and finished with a game-high 23. Kines also turned in eight rebounds, six assists and two steals.

It appeared that the Trojans had come to life at the start of the third quarter as Winchester, Shaterrika O’Neal and Kayla Robinson knocked down the first three 3-point attempts of the half. However, a scoring drought that lasted three minutes allowed the Jaguars to tie the game, 58-58, just before the horn.

In a fourth quarter that saw the teams score just 11 points each, South Alabama twice built a four-point advantage and twice saw Troy erase it. With 24 seconds remaining in regulation, Amber Rivers hauled in a offensive rebounds and made the layup to knot the game at 69-all.

In overtime, Kines scored seven points, while the Jaguars forced five Trojan turnovers and finished the game on a 17-3 run.

Japonica James turned in a double-double with 14 points, 11 rebounds to lead Troy.

Troy will await its postseason fate as the WNIT makes it selections public Monday night.