Lady Trojans conquer Troy
The Lady Trojans of UALR held the Troy Trojans scoreless for almost eight minutes in the first half, ultimately defeating them 83-48 at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday. Senior Chastity Reed led UALR with 27 points, nine rebounds and six assists. This is the team’s sixth consecutive win.
Reed scored eight points during a 23-0 run in the first half that gave UALR (9-5, 3-0 SBC) a 27-point half-time lead (46-19). The Trojans also had a 12-0 run covering two and a half minutes to take a 14-6 lead with 14:58 remaining in the first half.
“I thought we did a good job on both ends of the floor,” UALR coach Joe Foley said. “I thought that Marian provided some spark on offense to start the game. If she starts going like that, it takes a lot of pressure off our perimeter, it takes a lot of pressure off of Chas.
Junior center Marian Kursh scored the Trojans’ first six points of the game on her way to a 16-point, five-rebound outing. She shot 8-9 from field-goal range in helping the Trojans shoot 57 percent from the field, as opposed to Troy’s 33 percent.
“That’s what I tell all of our post players,” Foley said. “If they’re not having to double-down on you, then you’re not a very good post player. You could see the first two baskets she scored, they played her straight up. After that, they started doubling down. When they have to start doubling down, that opens up your perimeter.”
Troy’s (4-13, 1-3 SBC) leading scorer DeAngela Sword hit a 3-pointer to begin a 5-0 run to start the second half, but UALR answered with an 8-0 run of their own to take a 54-24 lead with15:10 remaining in the game. Sword finished the game with 19 points, 15 in the second half, and five turnovers. UALR forced Troy into 21 turnovers to its nine for the game.
“That’s the key to our defense … for Nik [Butler] to take their best player out of the game and the others respond by making steals and things like that,” Foley said. “That was one of our better defensive efforts there. We’re starting to play pretty dang-good defense.”
Senior Shanika Butler is not only the catalyst in the Trojans’ defensive scheme – she contributes on the offensive end as well. She scored only seven points, but had 11 assists and no turnovers in 30 minutes.
“Today, we tried to push it a lot more than we have,” Butler said. “Everybody was looking to execute on the fast-break, more in transition. And look at more inside-play inside and out. Coach was trying to get us to play like that all year long – inside and out.”
The Trojans led by 39 points with 6:09 remaining in the game for their largest lead and recorded 30 assists as a team, with seven from senior Asriel Rolfe. Sophomore Janette Merriex added 13 points on 3-8 3-pointers in the win.
The Trojans take on the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks at the Stephens Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.