The Lady Trojans basketball team cruised to a 25-point beat-down of rival South Alabama Thursday night, Feb. 6, in Trojan Arena, winning 78-53. The win caps off a two game winning streak for Troy and gives the team four wins out of their last five games.
Senior guard Joanna Harden led both teams in scoring with 30 points scoring her 1,000th career point. Harden has become one of only three all-time Trojans to go for 1,000 points in only two years.
Harden has now scored 20-plus in seven straight games and 30-plus in five games this season.
The Jaguars came in to the game leading the conference in 3-point shooting, but was outmatched by the Trojans, who shot 8-of-24 from beyond the arc. Senior guard Brooke Bowie and Harden went for 12 points each from three-point land.
They were the only two Trojans to make 3-point field goal attempts all evening. Bowie was also the only other Trojan to end the night shooting in double-figures, finishing with 17 points.
Troy’s defensive presence stayed strong, forcing 27 Jaguar turnovers while capitalizing on 17 points off of them. The Trojan defense also added eight steals and held South Alabama to under 40 percent in field goal shooting, including a six-minute Jaguar shooting drought in the second half. The 53 points by South Alabama were the fewest allowed by Troy all season.
South Alabama went up early on the Trojans, leading head coach Chanda Rigby to call an early timeout only two minutes into the game. Troy bench players, junior guard Aissata Maiga and freshman guard Chant Lewis, entered the game following the 30-second break and added an instant spark, changing the pace of the game to the point where Troy never lost its lead again.
“We had a spark off the bench tonight with Aissata and Chant,” Rigby said. “Those guards came in, gave us a spark, and I can’t speak enough about them.”
The win over South Alabama marks two straight victories over the Jaguars, dating back to last year’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament, where the Trojans eliminated the Jaguars. The 25-point victory by Troy is also ranked as the third largest victory by either team during their 34-game history.
Troy will try to make it three-in-a-row on the road this Wednesday, Feb. 12, against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and will be the third straight game for Troy against teams in the top-half of the Sun Belt rankings. Troy will return to the Trojan Arena Saturday, Feb. 15, against the Georgia State Panthers with tipoff slated for 7:45 p.m.