With an 11-2 league mark, Little Rock (LR) women’s basketball remains No. 1 in the Sun Belt with five regular season games remaining. Led by coach Joe Foley in his 16th season, LR is the defending Sun Belt champion, boasting five NCAA Tournament appearances in the last nine seasons.
LR rode a five-game win streak into February, having won seven of its first eight Sun Belt contests. The Trojans’ only blemish was a 71-66 road loss to Troy on Jan. 10. Foley’s squad built the streak to nine games before falling to Texas St. on Feb. 16.
As of Feb. 18, starting senior forward Ronjanae DeGray paces the Trojans in points (14.6) and rebounds per game (6.4), the former mark tying her for eighth place among Sun Belt scorers. Her 46 offensive boards are second only to her twin sister and fellow starter, Raeyana DeGray, who has logged 53.
Tori Lasker, a sophomore who has grown into the team’s starting point guard, averages 3.2 assists a game along with nine points. Junior shooting guard Kyra Collier averages three assists and 14 points an outing, while sophomore guard Terrion Moore has posted eight points and three assists per game.
LR has the Sun Belt’s top scoring defense, allowing 57.5 points per game. Collier ranks second in the league with 53 steals on the season.
On Feb. 2, Raeyana DeGray had a double-double (16 pts., 11 reb.) and Moore poured in 20 points to lead LR to a 68-55 win over Arkansas State at the Jack Stephens Center. Despite turning the ball over 20 times, the Trojans were able to command the defensive boards (23-16) and force 17 A-State turnovers. LR’s 28 made field goals (54 percent shooting) were the second-highest mark this season.
In the second of three consecutive home games, four Trojans scored in double-digits as Troy was dispatched 76-72. Ronjanae DeGray led the field with 19 points, while Moore added 16, Collier had 15 (along with eight boards) and Laster had 14. Little Rock shot 47 percent from the field and had a 21-7 advantage on the offensive glass that helped avenge its January loss to Troy.
Ronjanae DeGray achieved double-doubles in the Trojans’ next two games, starting with a 15-point, 11-rebound performance against South Alabama. In a poor shooting night for both teams, DeGray’s contributions along with an 8-of-14 free-throw mark (the Jaguars were 3-of-8) helped secure the victory. Collier added 11 points and Lasker dished eight assists in the win, which stretched the Trojans’ streak to eight.
In Arlington on Feb. 14, the Trojans inched past UT Arlington 62-61 thanks to another big night for Ronjanae DeGray. DeGray logged 10 rebounds and 18 points, including the game-winning free-throws with 10 seconds remaining. Collier and Lasker both scored 16 points in the Trojans’ ninth consecutive victory.
Texas St. snapped LR’s nine-game win streak in a 50-48 defensive battle on Feb. 16 in San Marcos. Ronjanae DeGray had 18 points, but the Trojans were 17-of-44 (39 percent) from the field and turned the ball over 14 times in a sluggish offensive performance for both sides. While neither team scored in the first four minutes of play, LR ended up holding the Bobcats to just five points in the first quarter.
Little Rock must rebound for a Feb. 23 date with Arkansas State in Jonesboro, the first of five remaining regular season matchups. Georgia Southern and Georgia State will visit the Jack Stephens Center on Feb. 28 and March 2, respectively, for the Trojans’ final homestand.