STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern women's basketball team will entertain Troy University, Thursday at 7 p.m., and seek to even up the score from a meeting earlier in the season.
Georgia Southern (5-6) looks to bounce back from a close 54-53 loss at Hanner Fieldhouse versus the College of Charleston, Saturday (Dec. 16). After 11 lead changes and a chance for GSU to take the advantage with only seconds remaining, the Cougars held on for their first-ever victory over the Lady Eagles in Statesboro, snapping GSU's four-game win streak.
Affiliates of the Sun Belt Conference, the Trojans (7-4) recently fell victim to league opponent Florida International by a 63-58 margin (Dec. 17) in Troy. Amy Lewis poured in 23 points, while teammates Kylie Morrissy and Alyce Shearing added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Earlier in the 2006-07 campaign, the Lady Eagles went head-to-head against the Trojans (Nov. 18) at South Florida's Image Depot Shootout. GSU held a one-point lead going into the half, but Troy exploded in the second half, shooting 13-of-29 (.448) from the field, and added 17-of-21 (.810) from the free throw line. Troy's Danielle Realph had 18 second-half points, shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. She led all scorers with 28 points. Amy Lewis added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Kylie Morrissy was short one rebound of tallying a double-double with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Tiffany Brown (Waxhaw, N.C.) led the Lady Eagles with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting. Ashley Melson (Newnan, Ga.) added 10 points and eight rebounds to the tally, and was later named to the Image Depot Shootout All-Tournament team.
In just five meetings dating back to 1978, the Trojans lead the series 3-2, having defeated the Lady Eagles in their last three meetings. The Trojans have not played in Statesboro since 1978 when the Lady Eagles defeated Troy twice (Dec. 11, Dec. 13).
Coming into Thursday's game, the Lady Eagles have won four of their last five contests, two of them on the road. Junior guard Brown paces the Lady Eagles with 12.2 points and 3.4 assists per contest. She rounds out her game by pulling down 4.2 rebounds and nabbing 1.6 steals per game.
Ashley Rivens (Charlotte, N.C.) helps out with the shooting responsibilities, tallying 10.1 points per game on 39-of-77 (.506) shooting from the field. The sophomore guard is one of the top three-point shooters in the nation, last week ranking 24th in three-point shooting percentage.
The Trojans are led by junior guard Amy Lewis in several shooting categories with 17.9 points per game, hitting a precise 69-of-135 (.511) shots from the field, including 36.6 percent from three-point land and 83.0 percent (44-53) from the charity stripe.
Two other players tally double-digit scoring figures in Kylie Morissy and Danielle Realph. Sophomore guard Morissy nets 13.6 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds per contest. Realph, a sophomore forward, follows with 10.3 points.
Head coach Rusty Cram tallies a 159-139 record (.534) and sits just four games shy of the most career wins, behind predecessor Drema Greer, who garnered a 162-101 record in nine years as head coach (1987-96).
Troy head coach Michael Murphy carries a 34-33 (.507) record in his fourth year at the helm of the Trojans.
Fans are welcome to don their favorite Christmas apparel as Hanner Fieldhouse will be decorated in Christmas attire for the game.