Buzzer-beater gives Trojans their fourth straight win

Published 9:07 am Monday, February 6, 2023

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The Troy Trojans women’s basketball team (15-8, 10-2) earned their fourth straight win 81-80 in overtime over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (14-10, 8-4) on Saturday on the road, propelled by a last-second jumper from Tai’Sheka Porchia.

With 30 seconds left in overtime, Makayia Hallmon – who transferred from Louisiana to Troy this season – knocked down a three-pointer to cut a Louisiana lead to 80-79. Louisiana missed a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession with 11 seconds left to play.

Ja’Mia Hollings grabbed the rebound off the second miss and hurled the ball over to Hallmon, who dribbled over half-court. She passed over to Amber Leggett, who then dished a pass over to Porchia, who then buried a jumper with just 1.8 seconds left to put Troy up 81-80. Louisiana’s desperation half-court heave at the buzzer fell short as Troy secured yet another thrilling victory.

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The win was Troy’s third overtime win of the season and second straight overtime win over Louisiana. Overtime did not seem to be in the cards late in the game, though. Troy led 17-16 at the end of the first quarter and 37-29 at halftime. The Trojans extended that lead to 61-51 going into the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter saw a Cajun rally, however.

After a Hallmon jumper, Troy led 69-58 with 1:29 left but Louisiana went on a 9-0 run in the next 60 seconds to cut the Trojan lead to 69-66 with nine seconds left in regulation.

Troy free throws extended the lead to five points but a technical foul on Troy resulted in a pair of Louisiana free throws that cut the lead back down to 71-68 with eight seconds left. Just before the buzzer, Louisiana’s Sherry Porter drilled a three-pointer that sent the game into overtime, tied 71-71.

Troy shot 43.7 percent from the field in the win, while holding Louisiana to 32.9 percent shooting. The Trojans also shot 50 percent from beyond the arc, while Louisiana knocked down just 5-of-28 three-point attempts. Troy also won the rebound battle 49-47 but was outscored 28-24 in the paint. The Trojans also gave up 21 turnovers.

Porchia continued her stellar week with her second straight double-double, tallying 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Trojans. Hallmon earned 20 points, four assists and two steals, while Daniel scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds. Hollings scored seven points and totaled 11 rebounds, while Jada Walton had 11 points. Leggett chipped in with nine points and six assists.

The win was Troy’s fourth straight and the Trojans’ 10th win in the last 11 games. It also keeps Troy firmly in first place in the Sun Belt, a full two games ahead of James Madison. The Trojans are back at home this Thursday against Arkansas State at 5:15 p.m. in a doubleheader that will also see the men’s team face off with South Alabama at 7:15 p.m.