Troy women fall to James Madison in battle for first place

Published 10:49 am Tuesday, January 24, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (11-8, 6-2) women’s team lost a nail biter 80-79 to the James Madison Monarchs (17-3, 7-1) on Saturday in a contest over first place in the Sun Belt Conference.

The showdown between the two schools was the first regular season meeting on the hardwood between the pair and while Troy came up just short, the Trojans extended their school-record of 11 straight games scoring at least 75 points. It also marked the most points allowed by JMU all season long.

The two teams came out firing on all cylinders with Troy holding a slim 19-17 lead going into the second quarter. JMU took control in the second quarter and took a 40-34 lead into halftime. JMU extended the lead to 58-50 going into the fourth quarter and led by as many as 13 points at one point.

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Troy’s Makayia Hallmon exploded, scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter, as the Trojans rallied. Hallmon buried a jumper to cut JMU’s lead to 71-69 with 2:40 left but the Monarchs answered with a layup to stretch the lead back out to four points. With 2:11 left, Hallmon knocked down another jumper to cut the lead back to two again.

JMU hit a pair of free throws to go back up by four only for Hallmon to once again answer with a jumper to cut the lead to 75-73 with 1:20 left. JMU’s Peyton McDaniel hit 1-of-2 free throws and then grabbed her own rebound and hit a layup to stretch the James Madison lead out to five with 31 seconds left. After a Troy turnover, JMU hit another pair of free throws to go up by seven with just 13 seconds left.

Hallmon and the Trojans weren’t quite ready to pack it in just yet, though, as Hallmon buried a three with seven seconds left to cut the lead to four and then stole the inbounds pass and knocked down another three to cut the lead 80-79 with just two seconds left. Troy was unable to steal the inbounds pass again, however, and JMU held on for the one-point win.

Hallmon led all scorers with 33 points in the loss along with four steals on defense. Tai’Sheka Porchia added 16 points and Amber Leggett grabbed eight rebounds. Sharonica Hartsfield tallied nine points and eight assists in the win, as well.

Troy is back at home against rival South Alabama on Thursday followed by another home matchup with Georgia Southern on Saturday, Jan. 28.