/Troy women win home opener 91-74

Troy women win home opener 91-74

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Rachael Wilkerson

Contributor

Michael Shipma

Sports Editor

The Troy women’s basketball team fell in its first game of the regular season with a 61-52 loss at Auburn on Friday night in Auburn Arena, but bounced back at home with a 91-74 win over Belmont.

Troy (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) battled back and forth against Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC) in the first half, but turnovers became its undoing on the road against the Tigers.

The Trojans’ 38 turnovers in the game were too much for them to overcome in their loss to the Tigers. Although the team had a rocky start, Head Coach Chanda Rigby was happy with her team’s performance.

“It was a great opportunity,” she said. “Really, one of the valuable things was experience. Everybody played.”

Despite the loss, the Trojans played until the final whistle. Troy trailed by 14 points with 33 seconds left in the game, but after scoring the last five points of the game, it cut the deficit to just nine as the clock ran out.

Senior guard Caitlyn Ramirez led all scorers in the game with her fourth career double-double, recording 13 points and 20 rebounds. Her 18 defensive and two offensive boards were the most total rebounds by a Trojan in a game since Troy moved to Division I in 1993.

Junior forward Jayla Chills was the second top scorer of the game, putting up eight points, six rebounds and two assists.  Freshman Kayla Robinson added seven points, while Lauren Day and Arjae’ Saunders contributed six points each.

Both teams shot 32 percent from the field for the night. However, the Trojans outshot the Tigers in three-pointers and shot 73 percent from the free-throw line.

The Trojans used a four-day break to bounce back from the loss, beating Belmont handily in Trojan Arena.

The Bruins (1-2, 0-0 Ohio Valley) jumped out to a quick 14-9 lead midway through the first quarter, but a 13-2 run by the Trojans helped the home team establish a lead by the second period.

Belmont continued to hang with Troy, despite shooting 24 percent from the field. The Bruins used nearly every player on their roster in the first half, making for a balanced scoring attack that kept the deficit in single digits.

Troy opened things up in third quarter though, outscoring Belmont 33-16 in the period. Senior guard Jayla Chills also found her rhythm in the second half, scoring 10 points and dishing out four assists.

The Trojans developed a comfortable 29-point lead in the final quarter, but let it slip as the Bruins cut the lead to just 11 with 2:31 left on the clock.

Troy picked up defensive stops and got back to its scoring ways, however, and closed out the game on an 11-5 run.

Chills led Troy in scoring with 21points and seven rebounds, while junior Dajia Williams scored 11 points and snagged nine boards.

The women’s team will look to keep its success going against Thomas University in Dothan on Monday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.