The Trojan women’s basketball team fell, 69-52, to University of Arkansas at Little Rock at Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Ark. on Saturday, Jan. 4.
Senior guard Joanna Harden led Troy with 26 points. Harden, who set Troy’s and the Sun Belt Conference’s single-game records with 52 points in November, is currently the NCAA’s third-leading scorer.
“My achievement is pushing me to work harder every day,” Harden said. “It motivates me to break my record again.”
However, the ball wasn’t bouncing Troy’s way at the beginning (4-11, 0-4), as UALR was leading 16-4 at the second media timeout.
“We have big problem we have this season,” said head coach Chanda Rigby. “The first four minutes of the game, we seemed to get far behind.”
According to Rigby, Troy improved by slowing UALR but still wasn’t able to score well.
“UALR is great in defense,” Harden said. “And we started to score too late.”
Troy struggled to catch UALR, cutting the lead in the second half to 32-23, but could not close the gap. UALR built a 17-point lead, and then extended it to 20 points.
“We still have 16 games this season to gain our winning ways back,” Rigby said. “Each one of us looks forward to contribute for the future. But we feel a lot of urgency to get it turned around right now, before it’s too late.”
Coaches and athletic department staff believe in the team’s ability to succeed in the whole season.
“The ladies have hit a dry spell lately,” said Troy University’s Director of Compliance Kit Alewine. “Their energy on the court and ability to score points quickly can easily change their momentum into winning Trojan basketball.”
Rigby said there is no doubt the team needs fan support, especially in such times.
“We played a lot of games away, with almost no fans,” Rigby said. “We hope and trust that this week we will have fans behind us. It really does make a difference.”
The upcoming games will be held at Trojan Arena on Thursday, Jan. 16 against University of Louisiana at Monroe and Saturday, Jan. 18 against Louisiana-Lafayette, both at 5:15 p.m. The admission is free for students with Troy University student’s ID.
“When people cheer for you, when somebody ‘has your back,’ you feel more focused,” Harden said. “We need more support and energy. This message I have for you, Trojans: Come and cheer for us.”