Women’s basketball sits third in Sun Belt

(PHOTO/ Pawan Khanal) Redshirt junior guard Jasmine LeBlanc takes a contested shot over a South Alabama defender on Saturday. LeBlanc posted nine points in the 66-58 win over the Jags.
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Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy women’s basketball team defeated Sun Belt Conference foe South Alabama 66-58 in front of a record crowd in Trojan Arena on Saturday.

With the win, the Trojans moved to 19-6 overall and 10-4 in Sun Belt Conference play, which is good enough for third in the conference standings. 

The reported attendance for Saturday afternoon was 2,327. 

“This is the time for us to come around and shine,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby. “I thought tonight was a great step forward in that area. 

“We followed coach Neil Harrow’s game plan to a ‘T’ and stuck with it defensively.” 

The first quarter started slowly for the Trojans, as they didn’t score a basket for two and a half minutes until a bucket by junior Jasmine LeBlanc. 

LeBlanc, a catalyst for the Trojans, scored five of the first seven points in the first quarter. 

Midway through the first quarter, Troy took its first lead and never looked back. 

The Trojans went on a 16-6 run to end the first period.

 Both teams struggled early in the game, shooting a combined 36 percent in the first quarter. 

The early difference was three pointers. The Trojans made three in the first quarter, but the Jaguars went 0-8 from beyond the arc until the fourth quarter. 

The Trojans continued to keep the Jaguars at bay in the second quarter.

The bright spots for South Alabama were guard Damaya Telemaque and center Antoinette Lewis, who scored 16 of the Jaguars’ first 20 points. 

In the second quarter, Troy’s Japonica James heated up and went into halftime with nine of Troy’s 36 points. 

In the second half, the Trojans steadily added on their double-digit lead, expanding it to as much as 19 points in the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars, however, mounted a furious comeback, trimming Troy’s lead to just six points after a 15-2 run. 

The defense held up, and the Trojans went on to win their 10th game in Trojan Arena this season, marking the fifth-straight season with double-digit wins at home. 

Twelve Trojans scored in the game, and James led the way with 11 points. 

Jasmine LeBlanc nearly reached a double-double with nine points and 13 rebounds. 

LeBlanc and Sky’Lynn Holmes combined for 13 offensive rebounds, which nearly matched the Jaguars’ total of 15 offensive rebounds for the game.

Next, the Trojans hit the road to play Texas State Feb. 28 and then UT-Arlington on March 2 in an important Sun Belt Conference matchup. 

The Mavericks lead the conference standings at 12-3, and the Trojans are two spots down at 10-4. 

The top two seeds earn a triple bye in the conference tournament, and Troy is one game back of Little Rock for the second spot. 

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