Arkansas annihilation: women’s basketball takes down Little Rock, Arkansas State

(Photo/Rojan Maharjan)

Senior forward Japonica James finished her career in Trojan Arena with a combined 35 points against Little Rock and Arkansas State last weekend.

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team capped off its home schedule last weekend with double-digit wins over the Little Rock Trojans and the Arkansas State Red Wolves.

The wins improve the team’s record to 22-4 overall and 13-2 in the Sun Belt Conference with just three games remaining in the regular season. 

On Thursday, the team defeated Little Rock with steady defense and four players scoring double-digit points in Trojan Arena. 

“It’s a win against Little Rock, and we’ll take it,” Head Coach Chanda Rigby said. “I think we could have played a lot better. 

“I think at the end of the game, if they had the gas in them, they could have made a few shots to make things different, so I’m concerned about that. We let up at the wrong times, but overall I am happy.”

Offensively, both teams had trouble in the first half. Little Rock shot about 33%, and Troy shot at 29%. 

Troy went into halftime with a 35-30 lead thanks in part to three 3-pointers from senior forward Amber Rivers. 

Rivers would finish the game with 13 points, with nine coming from beyond the arc. She scored all three of Troy’s 3-pointers on the game. 

After a dismal second quarter of 17% shooting from the field, Troy picked up the pace in the second half, converting 42% of shots. 

The offensive surge was good enough for 42 second-half points as Troy pulled away from Little Rock and took a 77-59 win at home. 

Alexus Dye led the team with 16 points and 17 rebounds, which clinched her ninth double-double of the season. 

Dye would continue to impress last Saturday against Arkansas State. 

The junior forward posted a career-high 23 points and 19 rebounds against the Red Wolves. 

Dye’s 39 points and 36 rebounds in two games earned her the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honors, the league office announced on Monday. 

Against Arkansas State, the Trojans got off to a sluggish start on senior day before pulling away in the second half to defeat the Red Wolves. 

“We got off to a slow start because we were so keyed up about senior night,” Rigby said. “They were able to settle down, and we realized the inside game could be really dominant for us.”

The inside game was dominated by Dye and fellow forward Japonica James. 

James capped off her regular-season career at Trojan Arena in style with 25 points on 12-18 shooting from the field along with eight rebounds. 

After a sluggish first quarter, the Trojans got on track in the second and third quarters, shooting 19-31, 62% in the middle 20 minutes of the game.

On the defensive end, the Trojans shut down the Red Wolves and allowed the road team to shoot just 29% from the field. 

This low percentage was thanks in part to junior forward Tyasia Moore. 

Moore recorded her season-high in blocks with three on the afternoon. The Trojans finished with eight blocks, which was the most all season for the team.

Next, the team travel to Mobile to take on rival South Alabama.

The last time these two teams met was in Trojan Arena on Feb. 1, and the Trojans won 85-68. 


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