Carolina road trip split; women’s basketball falls to Coastal Carolina, rebounds against Appalachian State

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(Photo/Pawan Khanal)

After seeing their seven-game winning streak snapped, the women’s basketball team bounced back with a win over Appalachian State.

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team fell to Coastal Carolina 124-103 in Conway, South Carolina, last Thursday before bouncing back against Appalachian State 81-61 in Boone, North Carolina.

The loss to Coastal Carolina ended the team’s seven-game winning streak and put the Trojans tied with the Chanticleers for first place in the Sun Belt Conference standings. 

After the game, Head Coach Chanda Rigby discussed the team’s performance. 

“DJ Williams had an incredible game for them, and that opened up a lot of other shots for other players,” Rigby said. “We got out of our game plan just trying to guard her, but they just did a fantastic job.

“They went 40-for-43 — 93 % from the free throw line, and anytime somebody scores 40 points from the free-throw line, it becomes a challenge to win.”

The team fell victim to the Coastal Carolina’s second-best offensive performance of the season and a record performance from the Chanticleers’ DJ Williams. 

Coastal Carolina shot 49% from the field and 53% from the 3-point line. Thursday was the best performance for the Chanticleers beyond the arc all season. 

Williams posted a school-record 51 points, which broke her own record of 45 points earlier this season. 

The Trojans began the game with a 27-point first quarter, but the defense allowed 33 points. 

Coastal Carolina earned a lot of its points at the free-throw line. The Chanticleers shot a perfect 19-19 from the free-throw line in the first half while the Trojans went 9-12. 

The Chanticleers went into halftime with a 63-52 lead after another 30-point quarter by the home team. 

In the second half, the Trojans held the Chanticleers to five free-throw attempts, but they couldn’t stop the deep ball. 

Coastal Carolina made six of its eight 3-point attempts in the third quarter and stretched the lead to 20 points by the end of the quarter. 

In the fourth quarter, the Chanticleers went to the free-throw line 19 times and made 16 of the free-throws to put the game on ice. 

The Trojans had their best output in the fourth quarter with 29 points, but Coastal Carolina pulled away for a 124-103 win. 

Japonica James led the Trojans with 21 points and five rebounds on 8-11 shooting from the field. 

Alexus Dye posted her sixth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Jasmine Robinson scored 19 points and made five of the Trojans’ nine 3-pointers of the game. 

Despite the loss, the Trojans went to Boone, North Carolina, on Saturday and took care of business against Appalachian State, defeating the Mountaineers 81-61. 

“I was very happy because you don’t want a loss like the last one to get in your mind,” Rigby said. “We came out strong and responded very well, and I am very pleased.”

The game began with a low-scoring 12-10 Troy advantage in the first quarter until the Trojans went on a 28-8 run in the second quarter. 

Senior forward Amber Rivers contributed to the run with eight points in the second quarter, including two 3-pointers. 

Rivers finished with a team-high 18 points on an efficient 6-9 shooting from the field.

Rigby said Rivers played well in Boone against Appalachian State despite the environment. 

“She’s always played her best here, and it’s very hard to play here,” Rigby said. “We always seem to have a player play really well here, and Amber came through once again tonight.”

After Appalachian State cut into the deficit in the third quarter, the Trojans pulled away in the fourth quarter and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half. 

The win marks the eighth straight against Appalachian State and the 20th win for the Trojans this season. 

The Trojans have won 20 games for the fifth time in the last six seasons under Rigby.

The team will play host to its final home stand of the season Thursday at 6 p.m. against Little Rock, a team that is fourth in the Sun Belt Conference standings at 8-5.

Then, the Trojans will take on Arkansas State on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Trojan Arena.

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