NEW ORLEANS, La. – Joanna Harden upped her Sun Belt-leading scoring average and helped Troy snap a losing streak, earning the senior guard Sun Belt Player of the Week honors for the second time this season.
Harden scored 30.0 per game in Troy’s two contests last week, including 28 points in the Trojans 87-75 win over UL Lafayette, a team that had the second-ranked scoring defense in the Sun Belt entering the game.
The Pompano Beach, Fla., nearly had a double-double as she also pulled down nine rebounds to against the Cajuns on Saturday, helping Troy snap an eight-game losing streak. Harden started the week with 32 points against UL Monroe, her third 30-point game of the season.
Harden shot 50 percent (20-of-40) from the floor on the week and 87 percent (20-of-23) from the free throw line.
Harden is now shooting 82 percent (108-of-132) from the charity stripe this season. With at least 12 games still to play, she has already become just the sixth player in Troy history to make 100 free throws in a season. Her 80.1 career free throw percentage would be the best in school history.
Harden is now averaging 24.8 points per game overall on the season and 24.5 per game in Sun Belt play, both tops in the conference. She is the NCAA’s fourth leading scorer and one of just two NCAA players to score 40-plus points twice this season.
The player of the week award is the third in Harden’s career, tying her with Samantha Tomlinson for the second most in Troy history. Harden’s three Sun Belt weekly awards are also the only three for Troy since the Trojans joined the league in 2005-06.
Harden and the Trojans return to the floor this week as they travel to take Sun Belt newcomers UT Arlington and Texas State. The Trojans will take on UTA on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. before traveling south to take on the Bobcats on Saturday at 2 p.m.