The University of Louisiana-Monroe defeated the Trojan women, 83-72 on Thursday, Jan. 16, but Troy finally broke their 8-game losing streak after facing University of Louisiana-Lafayette and winning 87-75 on Saturday, Jan.18, at Trojan Arena.
The Trojan women had a close game against ULM. Senior guard Joanna Harden scored 32 points but ULM out-rebounded Troy 55-38. Sophomore guard Ashley Beverley-Kelley also joined Harden in scoring double-digits with 10 points and made two of Troy’s four 4-pointers.
The Warhawks also held a lead of 17 points during the second half. The lead only changed twice and was never tied.
According to Harden, the game with UL Monroe the defense wasn’t very energetic. However, the loss just made the team push harder towards the success.
Trojans came back on the winning track on Saturday, Jan. 18. Harden led the game with 28 points, Beverly-Kelley contributed 17 points and junior forward Brianna Lancaster scored her career-high 16 points.
Troy improved their rebounds in the second game, leading the Ragin’ Cajuns 53-41. The Trojan women were also able to prevent UL Lafayette for scoring for 10 minutes straight in the first half allowing Troy to manufacture a double-digit lead.
“We realized that we have to play defense as a team, and played well,” Harden said. “So, hopefully, we can win next two games in Texas.”
Harden is currently the NCAA’s third-leading scorer, and is a part of the watch list of candidates for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award.
“I’m just speechless that I’m one of the guards to watch,” Harden said. “Being a candidate for Nancy Lieberman Award just motivates me to go harder every game.”
Harden said she finds her inspiration in her aunt Linda Burley who passed away when Harden was in middle school. Harden’s aunt was her best friend and role model but never had a chance to see Harden playing.
“She was like a mother-figure to me,” Harden said. “My goal is to make it to the WNBA, so I can make my auntie proud of me, even though she isn’t here to witness that.”
The Trojans will play against University of Texas at Arlington on Wednesday, Jan. 22 and against Texas State on Saturday, Jan. 25. The Athletics Department staff believes that the team can come home with the double win.