Troy women win pivotal conference matchup

Published 9:51 am Friday, February 3, 2023

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On Thursday, the Troy Trojans women’s basketball team (14-8, 9-2) hit the road and picked up a big 69-60 Sun Belt Conference win over the Texas State Bobcats (15-7, 7-4).

The win keeps Troy in first place of the conference and was a key win for a team looking to once again secure a No. 1 seed in the SBC Tournament. Coming into the contest, Texas State was in a three-way tie for second place behind Troy. Troy’s win knocks Texas State back to third place, while keeping Troy in first. Now, Louisiana and James Madison are in a tie for second place with Troy gearing up for a rematch with Louisiana on Saturday. Troy lost to JMU back on Jan. 21, so every game counts for the Trojans moving forward.

With just over seven minutes remaining against Texas State, the Trojans trailed 69-60 before this week’s Sun Belt Player of the Week Ja’Mia Hollings and Tai’Sheka Porchia sparked the Trojans on a 24-9 run that secured a come-from-behind win for Troy.

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With Troy trailing by nine points, Hollings converted a layup and free throw to cut the lead to six and then Porchia knocked down a jumper to cut the lead to 69-65 with just over six minutes left.

A TSU three-pointer stretched the lead back to seven but Hollings answered with a jump shot followed by a jump shot from Porchia to cut the lead to 72-69 with 4:49 left. Porchia converted a free throw to cut the lead to two and then stole the inbounds pass and made a layup that tied the score 72-72 with 4:36 left.

Texas State responded right back with a layup to retake the lead. Sharonica Hartsfield knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the score again but Texas State again answered right back, taking a 76-74 lead with 2:45 left. A Hallmon jumper tied the score with just over two minutes left and a pair of Nia Daniel free throws finally gave Troy a 78-76 lead with 1:36 left.

Daniel stole a pass on the next TSU possession and drew another foul leading to another pair of free throws to extend the lead to 80-76 with 48 seconds left. Texas State knocked down a jumper to cut the lead back down to two. Texas State was forced to foul to try and conserve time, though, and Troy knocked down 4-of-4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to secure the win.

Troy shot 43.7 percent from the field against TSU and the Bobcats shot 47.8 percent from the field. Troy won the rebound battle 49-34 but Texas State outscored Troy 40-38 in the paint. Troy forced 10 turnovers and scored 14 points off those turnovers, as well.

Porchia scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 15 rebounds with two blocks and three steals, while Hollings and Makayia Hallmon scored 15 points each. Hollings also grabbed her third straight double-double with 15 rebounds. Jada Walton chipped in with seven points and five assists.

Troy rematches Louisiana this Saturday, on the road, at 2 p.m. in a game that will stream live on ESPN+.