Trojans extend winning streak to six games

Sinclair Portis

Staff Writer

The Troy women’s basketball team extended its winning streak to six games over the weekend, with an 88-71 win over UT-Arlington and a 112-79 thrashing of Texas State.

With the pair of victories, the Trojans (10-5, 5-1 Sun Belt) are tied with UL-Lafayette for second place in the Sun Belt Conference standings.

On Thursday, Jan. 14, the Mavericks played the Trojans to a close first half, despite shooting only 22 percent in the second quarter.

The home-team Trojans, who shot over 50 percent in both quarters, were up only 35-31 going into the locker room.

In the third quarter, Troy outscored the Mavericks 30-14 in the third quarter, and its lead went up by as many as 22 in the fourth. A late full-court press by UTA cut the lead to 12, but the Trojans held on to take the win.

Senior guard Ashley Beverly-Kelley was the difference maker for Troy again this season, leading the way with 24 points, a season-high 12 rebounds and five assists.

Junior guard ArJae’ Saunders was the next highest scorer in this game, posting a career high of 19 points in just 23 minutes.

Other Trojans in the double-digits were sophomore guard Amanda Mendoza with 11 points and junior forward Caitlyn Ramirez with 10 points.

Along with another Sun Belt win, Troy posted its largest rebounding margin of the season for the second straight game. With help from junior forward Kristen Emerson’s nine rebounds, the home team held a 47-34 advantage.

Though the Trojans held the Mavericks to only 13 turnovers, Troy had a 52 percent shooting percentage to just 34 percent from UT-Arlington, the lowest forced by the Trojans this season.

Troy took the momentum from the win into its next matchup on Saturday, Jan. 16, continuing its winning streak against Texas State.

Troy defended its spot as the top-scoring offense in the Sun Belt with 87.1 points per game by racking up 112 points against the Bobcats (8-7, 3-2 Sun Belt).

After ending the first quarter at 20-13, the Trojans picked it up offensively in the second, shooting 60 percent in the first half and putting up 36 points to lead 56-36 at halftime.

In the second half, the Trojans kicked it up a notch again, leading by 37 at one point. The Bobcats never recovered, falling 112-79.

Five Trojans scored in double-digits, including Beverly-Kelley, who posted 22 points. After Saturday, her career points total was 1,621, the most by a player in Troy’s 23-year Division I history.

Saunders had another solid showing for Troy, contributing 16, in addition to junior guard Claresa Banks’ 12, freshman forward La’Tia Fils-Aime’s 12 and Ramirez’s 11.

Troy ended the game with a 57 percent shooting percentage to Texas State’s 40 percent. The Trojans also forced 22 turnovers out of the Bobcats, while turning the ball over only 10 times themselves.

With the win, Troy earned its third five-game winning streak in the last two seasons.

Troy goes on the road to take on a struggling UL-Monroe team on Thursday, Jan. 21. Tipoff at Fant-Ewing Coliseum is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

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