West Georgia (7-11, 4-6 Gulf South Conference) shot just 27 percent from the floor, including going 1-of-22 from 3-point range and 7-of-15 from the free-throw line. The offensive struggle may be a result of a young team that isn't quite used to the physical demands of the schedule yet at this point in its career.
"We're just in a rut. If you came in here and watched us practice Monday and Tuesday you would have said, 'Hey, these guys are ready to play.' I thought early on in the game we looked sluggish. It's that time of year, and we've got a lot of guys we're playing that haven't been through this, haven't been through the marathon," UWG coach Michael Cooney said. "If we could score, found a way to score, I think we could have tried to do something. But we just could not score."
The game started well enough for the Wolves, opening up a quick 4-0 lead, but once No. 11 UAH (15-3, 8-2) went up 9-8, it was all the other way. The Chargers went on a 10-0 run to increase a 12-9 lead to a 22-9 advantage and then closed out the half on a 15-10 run.
While West Georgia had trouble scoring, the Chargers were shooting the ball well. Even though it went just 36.7 percent from the floor, UAH was 10-of-32 from beyond the arc, as Zane Campbell scored 14 and Xavier Baldwin added 12 in the win.
Early in the second half, UAH would take a 25-point advantage, its biggest of the game. The Wolves would have a chance midway through the half to put a dent in the deficit, but again, shots wouldn't fall as UWG struggled to score.
"We held these guys to 59 points. I know they had a lot of their subs in the last three minutes, but they missed a lot of shots between the 12-minute mark and the five-minute mark and we didn't score hardly at all," Cooney said. "When you're in these situations, I just equivocate it to being in a bus and you're out there and you run into a slog of mud and everybody's got to get out of the bus and everybody's got to push."
Quincy Hill led with 13 points, while Sean Boston added 11 from the bench and Dan Trimble scored 10, but the rest of the Wolves combined for just eight points in the loss. West Georgia was also out-rebounded, 51-37, with Spencer Ford and Trimble leading with six rebounds each.
"I'm sorry Quincy Hill didn't have the game I thought he could, but that had to do with the other guys not making shots to open it up for him. When they're not making shots, all five of them are in there packing the paint on Quincy and it's hard to do what he does without the floor being spaced," Cooney said. "I just thought early in the game there wasn't the movement we're accustomed to and that's tired legs."
There is still plenty to play for, and the Wolves just have to find a way to turn around a rough stretch during this five-game losing streak. The road doesn't get much easier with a 4 p.m. meeting Saturday at Shorter before having a week off until hosting West Alabama next Saturday.
"I'm also confident that the way our kids work, the kind of character that we have, in time we'll get out of this time. I'm not promising it's going to happen against Shorter, because they're awfully good, but then we've got a week to get ready for West Alabama," Cooney said. "Saturday is huge for us just so we can get back and be competitive in a game."