The University of West Georgia women’s basketball coach was proud of the way his team played in its 58-53 setback at UAH on Thursday — where the Lady Chargers shot 24 second-half free throws to UWG’s four — but the Wolves (3-3, 0-1) have to quickly put that one behind them and turn their focus toward today’s 3 p.m. home battle against Shorter University at The Coliseum.
The Lady Hawks (2-1, 1-0) are coming off their first GSC victory in program history in a 56-53 win over West Alabama on Thursday and their visit to The Coliseum will serve as a homecoming for former Carrollton High School standout Karisma Boykin, who helped lead the Lady Trojans to the Class AAA state championship in 2008-09.
The Lady Hawk junior guard is averaging 11.7 points per game with a team-best 4.0 assists an outing through three games this year, and Groninger said it will be imperative not to allow Boykin to get too comfortable back in her old stomping grounds. Along with that, UWG is dealing with other distractions heading into the Sunday showdown.
“Shorter is just really good. They’re a well-coached team. Karisma is coming back, so I’m sure she’ll be excited to play in front of her home people. We’re a little banged up. It was a long drive back [Thursday]. We have five kids with finals [Saturday]. So it’s hard to focus just on basketball — and they shouldn’t — they’ve got to worry about class,” Groninger said. “But we’re going to throw it out there on Sunday. I’m glad the game time has changed to Sunday. That extra day helps.”
Along with Boykin averaging double figures for Shorter, junior guard Kristin Nash and junior forward Lynette Harris lead the team at 13.3 points a night, with senior forward Shelby Farrer coming in at 6.7 points and 8.0 boards a contest.
Senior guard Mone’ Peoples continues to serve as UWG’s top scoring threat at 14.8 points per game, while there are eight other players averaging between 5.7 and 7.5 points a game in the balanced attack. The return of forward Breonna Mosley to the lineup has provided a nice shot in the arm for West Georgia over the past two games, as the junior has pulled down 19 rebounds while averaging 7.5 points.
Groninger said there were encouraging signs in Thursday’s loss, noting that team chemistry is developing with several of the new pieces beginning to mesh with the returning players.
“Thursday night was the first time it looked like we were kind of moving in the right direction. But Sunday is big. Because you say that, and if you don’t continue to move in the right direction, you’ve got to go back to the chalkboard again. I’m tired of going back to the chalkboard,” Groninger said.