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Trojans avoid bad taste, for now

Submitted by Tony Lenahan on January 20, 2011 – 2:13 pmNo Comment
Shanika Butler

Shanika Butler is defended by Louisiana-Lafayette players in the Trojans' 51-40 win on Saturday, Jan. 15. It was UALR's eighth consecutive victory. Photo by Matt Johnson.

The Lady Trojans used an 11-0 run in the second half to break away from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, winning 51-40 at the Jack Stephens Center on Saturday, Jan. 15. It was the second consecutive game UALR coach Joe Foley has been less than pleased with the win.

“Luckily we know how to play defense, because if we didn’t know how to play defense, we would have lost the last two games,” Foley said. “Offensive-wise, we’re not very smart right now.”

The Trojans (11-5, 5-0 Sun Belt Conference) won their eighth straight game, but committed 16 turnovers, opposed to 13 by ULL. UALR led 22-20 at halftime in an uneventful first half after opening the game on a 6-0 run capped by a 16-foot jump shot by senior Chastity Reed.

“I know our fans probably didn’t enjoy the first half,” Foley said. “I didn’t enjoy the first half. I didn’t think we played very smart basketball.”

Louisiana-Lafayette junior guard Michelle Brunker hit a 3-pointer with 9:14 remaining in the game to give ULL (9-10, 2-4 SBC) a 36-34 edge. In the next 3:48, the Trojans went on an 11-0 run, seven points coming from senior guard Shanika Butler. Butler finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

“I looked up and saw the score,” Butler said. “We were down and that got us on track. It shouldn’t have to be like that, especially since we have three seniors on the team. We have to communicate more on the floor.

“The lack of intensity that we’ve been having lately in these games, I don’t know where it’s coming from,” she said. “We’re trying to pick it up. [Foley’s] right. We’ve got to stop this because we wouldn’t want to take a loss.”

Senior guard Chastity Reed recorded her third double-double of the season scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, but shot only 7-21 (33%) from the floor.

No player scored in double figures  for the Ragin’ Cajuns and the Trojans held their leading scorer Mercedes Johnson to eight points on 4-11 shooting. Still, Foley didn’t have a lot of positive things to say about the effort.

“One not pretty is fine, but two not pretty is getting kind of on the borderline,” Foley said about the past two games. “I’m a little bit more disturbed that I was the other night to tell you the truth. You keep playing like that, your year’s going to be over before you know it and you’re going to have a bad taste in your mouth.”

The Trojans go on the road for the next two games. They play Florida International in Miami on Wednesday and go to Boca Raton, Fla. to face Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

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