Troy Women win Sun Belt Conference Tournament
NEW ORLEANS – Troy is headed back to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament for the third time in the last five years that the event has been hosted after defeating Louisiana, 73-65, Monday afternoon in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game at the Pensacola Bay Center.
Troy (22-5) improved to 3-0 all-time in the Sun Belt Tournament Championship Game with two of those victories coming over Louisiana; the Trojans also beat the Ragin’ Cajuns to win the 2017 Sun Belt title. Troy will make its fourth overall NCAA Tournament appearance and third as the Sun Belt Conference representative (2016, 2017, 2021).
Jasmine Robinson scored in double-figures for the 10th time in her last 12 games after dropping a game-high 17 points in addition to dishing out nine dimes and pulling down five rebounds. Troy’s double-double tandem, Alexus Dye and Felmas Koranga, were at it again with a pair of dominant performances. Dye extended her NCAA-leading double-double tally to 22 games after scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds, while Koranga dropped 12 points to go with her game-high 22 rebounds (11 offensive) for her 11th double-double of the season.
Troy led wire-to-wire and outscored Louisiana (16-7) by seven points in each of the first two quarters of play to build an insurmountable 36-22 lead at the half. Robinson sparked the Trojans’ first quarter play with seven points, while Jhileiya Dunlap scored seven points during a 14-3 Troy run in the second quarter. The Cajuns pulled within three, 56-53, after opening the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run but the Trojans responded with an 8-0 run of their own sparked by six points from Koranga to ice the game.
The Trojans dominated the glass with a plus-18 rebounding advantage in the game, including a 24-12 discrepancy on the offensive end with led to 24 second-chance points, while the Cajuns managed just two. Monday’s matchup was a showdown of the Sun Belt’s divisional winners after Louisiana was awarded the Sun Belt regular season championship with a 13-1 league record compared to Troy’s 15-2 tally.
This marks the fifth postseason appearance for the Trojans under head coach Chanda Rigby after Troy had just one postseason appearance in program history prior to her arrival. Rigby has guided the Trojans to six 20-win seasons and 47 wins the last two years after Troy won a combined seven games in the two seasons prior to her arrival.