Troy remains Sun Belt’s only unbeaten

Hanna Cooper

Staff Writer

After opening conference play on the road with wins over both Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State, the women’s basketball team hosted Little Rock and Arkansas State for its home conference opener.

Thursday night, Troy took on the defending conference champions and pre-season favorite, Little Rock. Troy went into halftime with a two-point advantage over the Little Rock Trojans, 34-32.

Little Rock came out shooting in the second half and with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter, Troy trailed by 10. In the remaining 11 minutes of the game, Troy outscored Little Rock by 15 points to clinch its third conference victory.

Leading the way for Troy was junior Japonica James who shot seven of 12 from the field for a career high of 17 points.

“The girls were dialed in,” said head coach Chanda Rigby. “We did not play well to begin the game, but the will to win cannot be beaten and that is what showed in the end.”

On Saturday, Arkansas State came into Trojan Arena as one of three teams left undefeated. Again, Troy was able to overcome a double-digit deficit to clinch their fourth straight conference win.

Arkansas State shot at .500 from behind the arc in the first half, causing Troy to trail by as many as 11 in the second quarter. After the half, Troy opened up with a 26-11 run over the Red Wolves which eventually lead to the eight-point victory.

Amber Rivers bounced back from a two-point game on Thursday and scored 22 points. The junior forward knocked down four of six shot from three-point range.

Appalachian State helped the Trojans by knocking off the only other undefeated team, Texas State, leaving Troy the only undefeated team in conference play. Troy’s 13-2 start on the season matches its best start in program history.

Troy travels to take on Georgia Southern on Thursday before taking on Georgia State in Atlanta on Saturday.

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