by Caleb Thomas
Junior Makayia Hallmon pushed Troy University’s Women’s Basketball team into first-place in the Sun Belt Conference, pouring in 14 points and 19 points in the Trojans’ respective wins against University of South Alabama and Georgia Southern.
Troy dominated its opponents to improve to 8-2 in conference play (13-8 overall), outscoring arch rival South Alabama 81-62 and Georgia Southern 100-77.
Hallmon also scooped up 5 rebounds in Troy’s win over South Alabama. The 5-foot-3-inch guard has been a valuable part of the team since transferring from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a conference foe.
Against Georgia Southern, Hallmon’s 19 points led Troy in scoring, as she led the team in minutes played, with 35:11 spent on the court. Since arriving at Troy, Hallmon’s teammates have credited her with being a locker room leader.
Coaches and teammates say she’s been an integral piece in the Trojans’ quest to win their fourth straight Sun Belt regular season title. Hallmon has so far set career highs in points per game (14.1), assists (2.3) and steals (1.3), while shooting 37.6 percent.
“I encourage everyone and make sure that everybody’s confident and staying on ‘Level 10,’” Hallmon said. “If we all stick together and play together, I feel like we can overcome anything.”
Hallmon thinks the Trojans’ recent loss to James Madison University was a turning point for the team.
“The motivation started after we lost against JMU,” Hallmon said. “We’re striving to beat everybody else in our way.”
Troy Women’s Basketball Head Coach Chanda Rigby also cited the Trojans’ recent loss to JMU as a defining season moment, crediting it for inspiring the team’s bounce back.
“It was extremely emotional to lose that game by one point on the road,” said Rigby. “But we’re back in the driver’s seat if we don’t lose another game.”
Troy looks to continue the team’s momentum on the road, with games against Texas State University and ULL this week. Troy faces the Bobcats, a squad the Trojans beat 79-63 earlier this season, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Hallmon will return to her former home stadium Saturday face the Ragin’ Cajuns on Saturday. Troy won its Jan. 14 matchup against ULL 85-78, in a tight overtime contest. Tip-off at the Cajundome is set for 2 p.m.