Early deficit costs Troy against MTSU

Published 11:09 pm Thursday, December 17, 2020

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Troy women’s basketball team fell behind early after a barrage of three-pointers from Middle Tennessee in the first quarter, before eventually falling 76-92 Thursday night at the Murphy Center. The loss drops the Trojans to 3-3 on the season. 

  Troy was led offensively by Alexus Dye who recorded her fifth double-double of the season as she scored a career-high 30 points and added 10 rebounds. The long-awaited debut of Felmas Koranga didn’t disappoint. The junior from Kenya scored 14 points and hauled in nine rebounds while blocking two shots. Also making her Trojan debut was Jhileiya Dunlap, who added 11 points, four boards and two blocked shots. Janiah Sandifer added six while Tyasia Moore scored four. Tyiah Johnson, Janiah Ellis and Jelissa Reese each added three. 

“[Alexus] is just calm and gets it done,” Troy head coach Chanda Rigby said. “Everybody has every bit of confidence in her and she has every bit of confidence in herself that it’s going in and rebounding is very natural for her and our confidence revolves around her. I’m also proud that we had two brand new players in Jhileiya Dunlap and Felmas Koranga. Dunlap came out and hit some big three’s and Felmas came out and almost had a double-double in her debut.” 

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 Middle Tennessee jumped on Troy at the opening tip on Thursday, making its first nine three-pointers and 11 of its first 14 attempts. The number of made triples put the Trojans in an early 37-12 deficit with just under three minutes left to play in the first quarter.  

Trailing by 25, Troy held Middle Tennessee scoreless for the final 2:47 of the first and began to claw their way back, scoring six straight to end the quarter and four of the first six points of the second. Troy was able to cut the deficit to 14 at 44-58 but a 13-0 run by the Blue Raiders put the game out of reach. 

 Troy shot 42 percent from the field on 29-of-68 shooting. The Trojans attempted just five three-pointers, making one, until the midway point of the fourth quarter before ending the game shooting 4-of-13 from three. Troy was outrebounded 54-43. It’s the first game being outrebounded since Nov. 24, 2019, against Duke. 

Middle Tennessee was led by former SEC Sixth Woman of the Year, Anastasia Hayes, who scored a game-high 29 with 10 assists and seven boards. Deja Cage added 24 points with 21 coming from behind-the-arc. Middle Tennessee shot just 38 percent from the field and 38 percent from three.