Women’s basketball drops two key road games in SBC play

Scott Watkins

Staff Writer

The Troy women’s basketball team made a trip through Texas last week and returned home with a pair of losses.

The Trojans dropped a pivotal matchup with Texas-Arlington before losing late at Texas State. Troy had not lost back-to-back conference games since February of last season. The team’s conference seeding hopes took a hit as well, falling to third in the latest conference standings.

Against Texas-Arlington, the two teams traded points during the first quarter, with the greatest lead being a six point lead by Arlington. That lead was quickly erased, and Troy took a one-point lead into the second quarter following a three from senior guard Jayla Chills.

The Trojans increased their lead to four in the second quarter before the Mavericks took control with a 13-0 run. Senior Caitlyn Ramirez, who had nearly 40 relatives in attendance, scored six points in a one-minute span to keep the deficit in single digits.

Arlington kept the Trojans at arm’s length for much of the third quarter. With under a minute left in the quarter, Troy guard Amanda Mendoza hit back-to-back three pointers to pull the Trojans to within one at the end of the quarter.

Down 51-50, Troy was unable to take a lead in the fourth quarter, as Arlington shot 77 percent from the floor in the final 10 minutes to sink the Trojans 78-72. Ramirez, Arjae’ Saunders and Claresa Banks combined for 42 of Troy’s total points.

Two days later, the turnover bug bit the Trojans in their contest with Texas State. Troy committed 27 turnovers in the 74-72 loss.

The first quarter was sloppy for both teams. Troy coughed up the basketball six times and shot just 18 percent. Thanks to good free throw shooting and some poor shooting from the Bobcats, Troy escaped the quarter with a 14-11 lead.

The struggles continued for the Trojans in the second quarter but not for the Bobcats. Troy turned the ball over 12 more times in the second quarter, while the Bobcats took the lead and ended the half with a 35-25 advantage.

The Trojans bounced back quickly in the third quarter with a 12-2 run to tie the game. The teams traded buckets for the remainder of the quarter, with the Bobcats holding a 53-55 lead. Ramirez, who finished with her 12th double-double of the season, scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds in the quarter.

Texas State held its small lead for the majority of the fourth quarter. With the Trojans down four, Saunders hit a jumper with two seconds remaining but it was too little too late for Troy.

The losses put Troy in a third place tie with Texas State with two games remaining, including one with regular season champion Little Rock.

The Trojans return to action on Thursday with a home tilt against Arkansas State at 5:15 p.m. followed by Saturday’s game with Little Rock.

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