Sweeping South: Trojans earn season sweep over South Alabama following Saturday’s comeback win

(Photo/Troy Athletics)

Forwards Japonica James and Alexus Dye attempt to block Damaya Telemaque’s shot at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Alabama last Saturday.

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

The women’s basketball team completed a season-sweep against the South Alabama Jaguars last Saturday with a 77-73 win at the Mitchell Center in Mobile, Alabama.

On Saturday night, the Trojans had to play from behind, trailing as many as 15 points in the game. 

“Hats off to South Alabama,” Head Coach Chanda Rigby said. “It doesn’t get much better than the way they played, especially in the first three quarters.

“But our team embodied what a Troy Trojan is. We never flinched — my assistant coaches never flinched. The adjustments my assistant coaches made at half time were amazing, and the team responded.”

The win moves the team’s record to 23-4 for the season and 14-2 in the Sun Belt Conference. 

The Trojans officially locked a top-two seed in the upcoming Sun Belt Conference Tournament in New Orleans. 

The first quarter last Saturday started abysmally for the Trojans. The team shot just 33% from the field and missed all its 3-point shots. 

The Jaguars, however, had the hot hand early, shooting 9-14 overall and 5-7 from beyond the arc with a total of 24 points. 

In the second quarter, the Trojans finally hit their stride with 8-16 shooting and two 3-pointers from senior forward Amber Rivers. Rivers’ baskets would be the only 3-pointers on the night for the team. 

On defense, the Trojans held the Jaguars to 6-17 shooting from the field. Four of those six shots were 3-pointers, and the Jaguars went into the locker room with a 44-35 lead. 

In the first half, the Trojans went to the free-throw line eight times and converted five of them. In the second half, the team earned 27 shots at the free-throw line and converted 20 of them. 

Increased physicality in the paint and getting to the charity stripe gave the Trojans their best scoring output of the game with 25 points in the third quarter. Eleven of those points came from the free-throw line. 

After allowing 44 points in the first half, the Trojans turned up the heat on defense and limited the Jaguars to 38% shooting in the third quarter and just 21% in the fourth quarter.

Down by 15 midway through the third quarter, the team went on a 17-5 run to end the quarter and narrow the gap. 

After 32 minutes of gameplay, the Trojans took their first lead of the game with the minutes winding down in the final frame.

Clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch put the game away late in the fourth quarter as the Trojans enjoyed their first win in Mobile since December 2016.

The win is Troy’s 23rd of the season, which ties the program record for most wins in a season.

Troy scored 42 points in the second half thanks in part to Japonica James, a native of Mobile, Alabama, who shone brightly in front of her hometown crowd. 

The senior forward continued her hot streak with 24 points and a season-high 12 rebounds against the Jaguars. 

In the last five games, James has averaged 20 points and seven rebounds on an efficient 66% shooting from the field. 

 Next, the Trojans will close out the regular season with a pair of road games in Arkansas. 

First, the team takes on Little Rock Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Then, the Trojans take on Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the last regular-season game of the season. 

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