Troy Women Close Regular Season Looking to Stay Hot
ARLINGTON, Texas (troytrojans.com) – The Troy women’s basketball team has won four straight games, and six of its last seven, as it travels to UT Arlington for Saturday’s regular-season finale. The Trojans and Mavericks will tipoff at 5 p.m. at the College Park Center.
Troy (16-12, 11-8) is guaranteed either the No. 4 or No. 5 seed at next week’s Sun Belt Championships, meaning it will play at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Troy will play either South Alabama or UT Arlington.
Links to live video, live stats and free live audio can be found at TroyTrojans.com. Fans in Troy can also hear the game on WTBF 94.7 FM. For live, in-game updates on Twitter, follow @TroyTrojansWBB.
The Trojans are coming off of an 88-73 win at Texas State on Thursday. Troy outrebounded the Bobcats, 55-40, and got 43 points from its bench as the Trojans cruised to the win. Troy has now out rebounded its last seven opponents by an average of 8.9 rebounds per game. Over that span, Troy is averaging 49.0 boards per game, including 19.3 on the offensive glass.
Despite struggling from the field with 5-of-19 shooting, Ashley Beverly Kelley led Troy with 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists at Texas State. The Sun Belt’s leading scorer was 11-of-12 at the free throw line to lead a 28-of-33 effort from the Trojans as a team.
Beverly Kelley is now averaging 20.4 points per game overall and 21.3 per Sun Belt games, both tops in the conference. She is up to 1,886 career points, the 14th most in Sun Belt history.
Jayla Chills led the Troy effort off the bench at Texas State as she finished one shy of a career-high with 14 points, thanks largely to three 3-pointers. Chills also added seven rebounds, as did Casie Johnson who had a career-high 13 points. Claresa Banks added 10 points off the bench.
Caitlyn Ramirez nearly posted a double-double for the Trojans as she finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. She is averaging 8.4 rebounds per game in Troy’s recent seven-game stretch, just behind Kristen Emerson who is averaging 8.7 boards per game.
Ramirez, at 12.0 points per game, and ArJae’ Saunders, at 12.6 points per game, make Troy the only team in the Sun Belt with three players averaging over 12.0 points per game. Troy’s scoring average is up to 82.8 points per game, the sixth best in the NCAA, and the best in the Sun Belt for the fourth straight season.
UT Arlington (15-14, 10-9) will be playing its third game in five days, but will do so with confidence after winning the first two. The Mavericks beat Texas State at home on Tuesday, 78-69, then turned around and beat South Alabama on Thursday, 53-49.
UTA has the Sun Belt’s second best scoring defense, allowing just 55.6 points per game. They also have the second best field goal percentage defense, and that was on full display Thursday when they held South Alabama to 33 percent.
The Mavericks, however, also shot 33 percent, but got 22 points from Amara Wainwright on 6-of-12 from deep. 6-foot-5 sophomore Rebekah VanDijk leads the Mavericks in scoring and rebounding and is just two games removed from scoring 33 points against Texas State.
The Mavericks have played the last six games without Cierra Johnson, their second-leading scorer, who had 26 points at Trojan Arena earlier this season.
Johnson, however, was the only Maverick to get in rhythm that night as Troy won, 88-71, at Trojan Arena. At the time, UT Arlington had the best scoring defense in the Sun Belt, and Troy’s 88 points in that game are still the most scored against the Mavericks in the last two seasons. With that win, Troy now leads the all-time series over UTA, 4-2.
For more information on Troy women’s basketball, follow the Trojans on Twitter and Instagram at @TroyTrojansWBB.
For more information on Troy Athletics, visit TroyTrojans.com. Fans can also find the Trojans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat by searching for Troy Athletics.