Women’s basketball falls to Ragin’ Cajuns, takes down Jaguars

Gabe Sadetsky

Staff Writer 

Troy’s women’s basketball team came up short Thursday, Feb. 19, in a pivotal conference game on the road against Louisiana-Lafayette, 62-57. The game was one of only six games all season in which the Trojans failed to reach at least 80 points and the first such game since Feb. 6.

Troy had one of its worst first-half shooting performances of the season trailing the Ragin’ Cajuns 32-15 at the half.  The Trojans had a weak field goal percentage of 29.4, making 20 of 68 attempted shots.

Troy gained a surge in the second-half; outscoring Lafayette 42-30, with 23 of those coming from senior guard Joanna Harden.  Junior forward Ronita Garrett had a double-double for the game with 14 points and 10 boards.

However, the late Trojan push still couldn’t overcome the team’s first-half deficit, moving the Trojans to 9-15 overall and 5-8 in the Sun Belt. Harden’s 27 total points led both teams in scoring while Ragin’ Cajuns red shirt sophomore guard Brooklyn Arceneaux led Lafayette with 17 points.

Saturday’s road game against South Alabama on Feb. 22 saw the Trojans complete a successful second-half comeback, beating the Jaguars 86-76. The win gave Troy their first road win since beating UT-Arlington on Jan. 22.

“We have to prove that we can win away from Trojan Arena if we’re going to doing anything down the stretch,” said Troy head coach Chanda Rigby.  “We did that tonight.”

Harden, for the second straight game, led both teams in scoring with 26 points. Her performance placed her atop Troy’s single-season scoring records with a total of 635 points, a record that has lasted more than 24 years. Harden is now averaging 25.3 points per game, leading the conference and ranking fifth in the NCAA.

Harden also led the team with 5 assists and 6 steals while shooting 5-8 from the free-throw line. Sophomore guard Ashley-Beverly, one of the other season-leaders of the high-powered Trojan offense, finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

The Trojans’ bench made one of their biggest contributions of the season, particularly from Garrett, who had another double-double, leading the team with 12 rebounds and finished second with 15 points. Junior guard Aissata Maiga joined Garrett with a big day off the bench, scoring 12 points and finishing second with 4 assists while earning 3 steals on defense.

Junior guard Breanna Hall, who scored 17 points and earned 8 rebounds, led South Alabama. The Jaguars, as a team, also out-rebounded Troy 52-44.

Troy returned to the court Wednesday, Feb. 26, to take on the Trojans of Arkansas-Little Rock at Trojan Arena. Tip-off was set for 7 p.m. and gave Troy a chance to avenge its road loss to UALR on Jan. 11.

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