Moné Peoples scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, including a pair of free throws and two 3-pointers, late that kept the Wolves (15-8, 9-6 Gulf South Conference) in the game, gave them the lead and then helped seal the victory.
“Moné hit two huge 3s, back-to-back 3s, and then [Jerlisa Taylor] sealed it at the foul line. I thought Brittany Johnson was really good,” UWG coach Scott Groninger said.
With the first half winding down, the Wolves went on a 10-2 run to build up a six-point lead after trailing — helped out with a pair of Taylor Turgeon 3-pointers — but the Lady Bucs (5-17, 2-12) had the answer to start the second half. Christian Brothers opened the first 3:18 of the second half with a 10-2 run of its own that helped it briefly regain the lead.
West Georgia eventually built a lead back up by as many as six points, but in the final five minutes the game remained tight with both teams taking small leads. In the end, Taylor’s free throws with four seconds left put the game out of reach.
“The one thing I think, hopefully, our team is getting better at is not panicking. Even at halftime they wanted to be up [more], but when you’re up seven at half, that’s a good half. I just think we’re trying to keep everyone in a positive frame,” Groninger said. “This is good for us in a sense that hopefully we can learn.”
Behind People’s 22 points, Johnson scored 16 to go with eight rebounds, while Taylor added seven points and eight boards.
For Christian Brothers, it was freshman Samantha Reeves that did the most damage with a 16-point, 10-rebound effort, while Breanna Ridgell also had 16 for the Lady Bucs.
“She’s just a really good player. [Ridgell] started off the game real well and [Adrienne] McKay hasn’t played the last few games and she hit a big shot for them. We didn’t play very well. I would have guessed that because it was a little bit of a trap game because the kids were going to be all excited about Delta State,” Groninger said.
Now the Wolves get GSC-leading Delta State on Saturday, a team they dropped an 11-point contest against in the first meeting. Thursday’s win, combined with North Alabama and Delta State losses, keeps West Georgia in the hunt for a regular-season conference title, but it has to keep it up.
“I think everybody in the locker room realizes we have to come out with a high-energy level and we have to go out and rebound the ball better than what we did [Thursday],” Groninger said. “We’re thankful to be in this position. Now we’re in a position to where every win now gets us a step closer to where we wanted to be when the season started. I’m very thankful for that. You don’t always get that opportunity.”