Trojans Drop SBC Leader Middle Tennessee in Overtime

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*From Troy Media Relations*

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – For the first time in team history, the Troy women's basketball team (5-18, 2-12) defeated Middle Tennessee (18-6, 13-2), 74-70 in overtime in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Joanna Harden led the Trojans with 27 points and four assists, including several key free throws in the clutch.

Troy got on top early in the extra frame, hitting its free throws and playing solid defense. The Trojans struggled mightily from range all night, but Britney McCloud hit a huge triple with under two minutes to play, giving Troy a five-point advantage. From there, it was all about the Trojans at the line, shooting 83 percent for the game.

Ashley Beverly-Kelley scored 17 points in the win and grabbed 13 rebounds, a new career-high. Both McCloud and Sarah McAppion scored 11 points. Ebony Rowe led the Blue Raiders with 28 points and 14 rebounds.

“Thanks for all the people back in Troy for supporting us,” said head coach Chanda Rigby. “This one is as much about them as it is us.”

Middle Tennessee had won 12 straight games entering Sunday's contest the Murphy Center. The Trojans have now won two of three.

Troy shot 44 percent from the field, but just 14 percent from beyond the arc. The Blue Raiders shot 31 percent from the field and 23 percent from range. Troy was outrebounded on the night, 51-47.

Middle Tennessee mounted a tremendous comeback in the second half, tying the score at 61 with 49 seconds in regulation. Both teams had an opportunity to win it, but neither could convert their free throws, sending the game into overtime. Middle Tennessee's Kortni Jones missed a pair with six seconds to play. McCloud missed the front end of the 1-and-1 with just two seconds on the clock, after drawing a foul near midcourt.

The conference loss was the second at home in the last five years for Middle Tennessee, a team that has been to the NCAA Tournament each of the last four seasons.

The Trojans led by as many as 15 points in the first half, before taking a 37-25 lead into the break. Harden led all scorers in the opening frame with 12 points, consistently hitting mid-range jumpers from 12-15 feet.

Troy returns home to the friendly confines of Trojan Arena on Thursday, February 14, to face FIU at 5:15 p.m., as part of a double-header with the men's basketball team.

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