Troy Women Set for South Alabama in Wednesday’s Quarterfinal
The Troy women’s basketball team rides a five-game winning streak into this week’s Sun Belt Championships, and will put that streak on the line on Wednesday in the tournament’s quarterfinals against South Alabama at 2 p.m. at Lakefront Arena.
NEW ORLEANS – The Troy women’s basketball team rides a five-game winning streak into this week’s Sun Belt Championships, and will put that streak on the line on Wednesday in the tournament’s quarterfinals against South Alabama at 2 p.m. at Lakefront Arena.
Troy will be looking for revenge against a South Alabama team that won both of this season’s regular season games against the Trojans, but by just a combined six points.
Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 at WatchESPN.com, listen to a free live audio broadcast on TroyTrojans.com, listen in Troy on WTBF 94.7 FM or follow live stats through SunBeltSports.org.
Troy (17-12, 12-8) earned the tournament’s No. 4 seed with its 80-70 win over UT Arlington on Saturday. The win was the Trojans’ fifth straight and their seventh in the last eight games.
The lone loss in that stretch came on February 16 at South Alabama, 65-63. The Jaguars closed the game on an 8-0 run and made the game-winning layup with 1.4 seconds left on the clock. Troy committed turnovers on its last two possessions to give the Jaguars that chance.
South Alabama also won this season’s first meeting, 75-71, in Trojan Arena. The Jaguars two wins, by a combined six points, snapped Troy’s five-game winning streak against South Alabama. That streak dated back to the 2013 Sun Belt Championships when Troy beat the Jaguars in Hot Springs, Ark. South Alabama had also won both regular season meetings that season, but Chanda Rigby, in her first season at Troy, led her team to a 62-49 win.
Troy’s win over UT Arlington on Saturday marked the seventh straight game that Troy has outrebounded its opponent. During its stretch of seven wins in eight games, Troy is averaging 46.8 boards per game and outrebounding teams by an average of +7.9 per game, a mark that would lead the Sun Belt.
The Trojans’ win in the regular season finale also gave Troy its 18th 80-point game of the season. Troy is sixth in the NCAA in scoring offense at 82.7 points per game, a mark that leads the Sun Belt for the fourth straight season. Troy would be the first Sun Belt team to average over 82.0 per game since Louisiana Tech’s 1999-2000 Elite 8 team averaged 87.1 per game.
Ashley Beverly Kelley leads the Trojans, and the Sun Belt, in scoring in all games at 20.6 points per game and in Sun Belt games at 21.5 per game. The senior has scored 20-plus in three straight games and in 18 games overall this season. She has upped her career total to 1,912 points, the second most in Troy history and the 12th most in Sun Belt history.
ArJae’ Saunders and Caitlyn Ramirez are also large factors in the Troy offense as they average 12.9 and 12.1 points per game, respectively, making Troy the only Sun Belt team with three players averaging double-figure scoring.
South Alabama (15-14, 11-9) is also coming off of a win in its regular season finale, beating Texas State, 70-56. The Jaguars have won six of their last eight games, with one of the losses coming last week at UT Arlington.
The Jaguars have one of the Sun Belt’s top defenses, allowing opponents to shoot just 34.9 percent overall and 28.9 percent from deep, both the best marks in the Sun Belt. Those numbers are aided by South Alabama’s 5.8 blocks per game, which also leads the conference.
Chyna Ellis leads the league with 2.7 blocks per game and also leads South Alabama with 7.8 rebounds per game. Marquita Daniels leads the Jaguars in scoring with 11.4 points per game.
South Alabama is playing the Sun Belt Championships for the first time since that 2013 visit to Hot Springs, Ark.