LAFAYETTE — The Troy women’s basketball team has reached triple digits a handful of times this season on the way to averaging 86.2 points.
The Trojans also have caused the first few letters of the alphabet to come up during pregame discussions.
“Bring your ‘A’ game, ‘B’ game, ‘C’ game ... bring it all,” Louisiana-Lafayette guard Kia Wilridge said.
That’s one plan as the Ragin’ Cajuns women try to improve on a three-game winning streak when Troy enters the Cajundome for a 4 p.m. game Saturday.
Both teams used plenty of plans against each other last season, when they faced off three times. The Trojans took the two regular-season meetings before the Cajuns came out on top 66-52 in the conference tournament.
Within those adjustments, the main contrast between the teams remains the same. Troy’s motive is to shoot early and often. While the Cajuns play a fast tempo, they have also played games where the scoring pace was kept to the 50s or 60s.
It is a tug-of-war that has been going on since Cajuns coach Garry Brodhead and Troy coach Chanda Rigby were leading high school teams.
“The great thing is I got to coach against Coach Rigby through my high school career,” Brodhead said. “They were scoring 80, and we were scoring 50. But we were allowing 30 points a game. There are 1,000 different ways to coach. She does it a different way and we do it a different way.”
Both of those methods have contributed to Sun Belt success for the Cajuns and Trojans during the past few weeks. The Cajuns are 13-3 and 6-1 in conference. Troy is 10-6 and 5-2.
Troy’s Ashley Beverly Kelley is the conference’s top scorer at 20.1 points a game. During Sun Belt play, Kelley has raised that mark to 22.1.
“Ashley Beverly is playing at a different level (this season),” Brodhead said.
In their conference tournament win last season, the Cajuns forced Beverly Kelley to take 25 shots to score 17 points. Four Cajuns reached double figures in scoring and Simone Fields had 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cajuns have employed that sort of balanced scoring this season. Wilridge, Keke Veal and Jaylyn Gordon have all reached double figures in 10 games. Veal has put up 15.6 points a game, Gordon 14.4 and Wilridge 13.2.
The Trojans have pressed more defensively this season, and Beverly Kelley is leading the conference in steals at three per game. For the Cajuns guards, using the right mix of a slower pace with some opportunistic fast breaks will be a main part of success.
“If it was up to (Troy), they would score 150 points a game,” Wilridge said. “We are going to try and keep them in the 50s.”