Troy’s women’s basketball team crushed Sun Belt leader Arkansas State 83-65 after returning from their road trip Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Trojan Arena. The Trojans had a big day from their guards, senior leader Joanna Harden and sophomore sensation Ashley Beverly-Kelley, who combined for 50 of Troy’s 83 points.
The Trojans now move to 7-13 overall (3-6 in conference play) and have won three of their last four games. During the stretch, the Lady Trojans scored at least 80 points in four straight games for the first time since the 1996-97 team.
Troy jumped off to a 40-28 halftime lead and never looked backed, staying ahead by as much as 26 with 5:45 minutes left in the game. Harden extended her streak of 20-point games to six while Beverly-Kelley finished three assists away from a triple-double, ending with a team-high of 15 rebounds.
As impressive as the offense was Saturday, the defense for Troy was equally impressive, holding Arkansas State to 2-13 shooting during a 7 minute span in the first half, a run that included five Red Wolves’ turnovers. ASU’s red shirt sophomore guard Aundrea Gamble, a finalist for Sun Belt player of the year, was held to a mere 10 points and fouled out with over five minutes left in the game.
Troy demolished Arkansas State in free-throw percentage, shooting 64.7 percent from the line while the Red Wolves managed just 37.5 percent. The only other player for Troy to reach double figures in scoring was senior forward Kourtney Coleman, gaining 10 points while shooting 3-5 at the free-throw line.
Sophomore forward Jalen O’Bannon lead ASU in scoring with 12 points while red shirt junior guard Hanna Qedan along with Gamble both scored 10 each. The Trojans, as a team, also out-rebounded the Red Wolves 50-47.
Troy still remains 9th in conference standings while Arkansas State still leads following losses by all three of the top teams in the Sun Belt.
Troy will return to the hardwood Thursday, Feb. 6, against rival and conference foe South Alabama (7-12, 5-4). Tipoff is set for 5:15 p.m. at the Trojan Arena and will feature a Jaguars team who, like Troy, has won three of their last four games, most recently defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 61-56.