Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the Troy women’s basketball team traveled to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to compete in the Lady Eagle Classic hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi.
On the opening day of the tournament, Troy took on the Sam Houston State Bearkats. In the opening minutes of the game, both teams struggled to find baskets as the two teams combined to shoot just 2-of-19 from the floor. The Bearkats finally saw productivity toward the end of the first quarter when they ended on a 19-3 run.
Sam Houston led the Trojans 31-14 midway through the second quarter. Amber Rivers exploded on the court with six straight baskets. Troy was able to close in the deficit to just four points, but the Bearkats scored another seven points to take the 11-point lead into the half.
Troy came out hot in the second half of play. Threes by Jasmine Robinson, Harriet Winchester and Tyra Johnson, as well as eight points from Japonica James, gave Troy the lead. Troy shut out the Bearkats in the last 2:54 of play to end the game.
In Troy’s 84-79 victory over Sam Houston, three Trojans ended in double-figure point totals: Japonica James with 16 points, Amber Rivers with 12 and Harriet Winchester with 12. Rivers also hauled in 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season.
On Saturday of the tournament, Troy faced off against the Mississippi State Valley Devilettes.
Troy fell behind at the end of the first quarter 21-15 but scored 23 of the next 27 points in the opening of the second quarter to take a 38-27 lead. The Trojans went into the locker room with a 44-33 lead and never looked back.
In the remaining two quarters of play, Troy allowed the Devilettes just 21 points and finished the game with a 75-54 victory.
Four Trojans finished in double figures, and six players had at least nine points. Troy’s efforts were led by Japonica James, who had a career- high of 17 points. James also led the team with nine rebounds and was named the Lady Eagle Classic MVP.
The team returns to Trojan Arena on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 5 p.m. to take on Alabama State.