Troy women topple Arkansas State, UALR

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy women’s basketball team picked up two Sun Belt Conference wins at home last week, defeating Arkansas State 95-78 and Little Rock 76-70 in overtime to extend its winning streak to six games.

That streak is the longest for the Trojans so far this season and was capped with an upset of the Sun Belt’s top-seeded team in UALR in Trojan Arena on Saturday. It was UALR’s first conference loss of the season.

Troy was led by recent breakout star Kayla Robinson, whose 18 points helped land her a third consecutive spot as the Sun Belt Player of the Week. No player in the history of the league has accomplished that before.

On Thursday against Arkansas State, the Trojans led 28-14 at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. The Trojans led for 39 minutes and 30 seconds of the 40-minute game on their way to their second consecutive double-digit victory.

Robinson led the team with 18 points and four rebounds. Harriet Winchester followed close behind with 16 points off four 3-pointers and was one of six Trojans to reach double-digit points.

Two days later against Little Rock, the two Trojan teams were locked in a defensive battle early with Troy leading 15-11 after the first quarter.

Troy temporarily lost the lead in the second quarter, but pulled ahead and went into halftime with a 31-30 lead over the conference frontrunner.

Late in the third quarter, Troy pulled away to an 11-point lead, its largest lead of the game and the largest deficit UALR has faced against a Sun Belt team this season.

The hosting Trojans ended the quarter leading 52-43.

However, Little Rock erased the deficit in the fourth quarter with a pair of made free-throws in the final minute. The visiting Trojans had a chance to steal the game at the buzzer, but a missed 3-pointer from Monique Townson sent the game to overtime.

In overtime, with Troy up by two, Harriet Winchester came up with a big block, and Kayla Robinson sealed the game at the free-throw line to take the win 76-70.

The win handed Little Rock its first conference loss of the season and ended its 11-game winning streak.

Troy extended its winning streak to six games and moved up to a tie for third place in the Sun Belt Conference.

After the game, Troy Head Coach Chanda Rigby noted the importance of the win against Little Rock.

“It was great to get this win,” Rigby said. “We also learned a lot.

“This program has been built on faith and prayer. Special things happen sometimes when you go with that, and that’s what’s happening in this program.”

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