The University of West Georgia women’s basketball coach received a dominating effort from his team — especially on the boards — en route to a 69-55 league thumping of the Lions.
UWG (11-5, 5-3 GSC) out-rebounded North Alabama (12-5, 5-3) by a 49-31 margin, including a 14-4 mark on the offensive boards, as UNA didn’t get its first offensive carom of the game until the 32-minute mark of the night.
“I’m really, really happy. I know that we went almost 30 minutes without giving up an offensive rebound. We talked about that. It’s one thing to talk about it, but the players executed it. We did a tremendous job on the boards. I see [JaDechia] Hill had 14 and [Jerlisa Taylor] is nursing a bad back and got 10. But everybody really contributed. I thought Angela [Davis] was outstanding off the bench,” Groninger said.
West Georgia stretched its four-point halftime edge of 28-24 to double digits early in the second half, using runs of 6-0 and 10-0 to go up 46-32 on a Brittany Johnson 3-pointer from the left corner with 13:19 left in the game.
North Alabama cut the deficit to 10 points on two different occasions, but never could get it back down to single digits, as the Wolves had the hot hand from the perimeter in the final 20 minutes. West Georgia shot 13-of-28 from the field (46 percent) and 4-of-7 (57 percent) from downtown in the second half. For the game, UWG hit 7-of-15 (47 percent) 3-point attempts.
The Wolves were knocking down shots from all over the floor after the break — even Wolfie drilled a prayer from halfcourt during a timeout promotion — and it all ultimately made for one of the better showings of the season from Groninger’s ball club.
“I think Wolfie may need to travel with us, because that seemed to get us going a little bit. But, yeah, when you go 4-for-7 from 3s in the second half — and the thing is, they were all good-rhythm 3s — and nothing was wild. I think all four of them were off of good passes,” Groninger said. “That’s how we’ve got to play.”
Senior shooting guard Mone’ Peoples led the offensive charge for the Wolves, scoring 17 points and knocking down 7-of-12 attempts from the field, including a 3-of-6 clip from beyond the arc. Johnson scored all 11 of her points in the second half, while Taylor, Davis, Hill and Taylor Turgeon posted eight points apiece and Shakiyla McLin finished with seven.
Along with Hill grabbing 14 boards and Taylor pulling down 10, McLin added six and Davis had five.
North Alabama was led by Sarah Bailey’s 16-point effort, while Mekena Randle finished with 12 and Nichelle Fillmore added 10.
The Wolves now hit the road to face Union on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Jackson, Tenn.
“We say this every single time — the difference between being on the road and being at home — you’ve got to hold service. And now we’ve got a heck of a challenge coming up going up to Union,” Groninger said.