The University of West Georgia women’s basketball coach will get his Wolves back in action for the first time since a Dec. 2 overtime win over Shorter University tonight at 5:30 when they travel to face Columbus State at the Lumpkin Center.
The Cougars (3-2) have won all five meetings with UWG in the Lumpkin Center and own a 6-0 all-time record in Columbus, a streak the Wolves (4-3) are looking to snap tonight.
“See, that’s something we’ve thrown out there. I didn’t know West Georgia had never won there. But that’s good. That’s one of those kinds of things we’ll talk about [Wednesday] as we get on the bus. You know, a chance to do something that nobody else at West Georgia’s done,” Groninger said.
Through five games this season, the Cougars are shooting a blistering 46-percent clip from beyond the arc — No. 1 in Division II — and Groninger said they have several different gun-slingers his defense will have to deal with tonight.
“Yeah, 46 percent is incredible. They’ve got a kid that is 8-for-10, they’ve got another kid that is 8-for-17. I mean, they don’t shoot reckless 3s, either. That’s why they’re shooting such a good percentage. We’re definitely going to have to try to take that away from them the best we can,” Groninger said.
Columbus State coach Jonathan Norton goes 10-to-11 players deep, as evidenced by the team’s 80-52 victory over Albany State on Dec. 5, where the Cougar bench lit it up. With the starters going a combined 0-for-4 from beyond the arc, the CSU reserves went 10-for-18 from downtown, including Marina DeFoor connecting on a 4-of-5 mark.
Junior guard Taren White leads the Cougars at 13.8 points per game, but there are eight other players averaging 5.8 points or more per contest.
As for CSU’s home dominance, Groninger said there isn’t anything supernatural about the Lumpkin Center, noting that it’s more about the players than the facility itself.
“The AD, Jay Sparks, was the women’s coach and he had a great run there. They’ve just always had really great players there. There’s nothing special about the facility. It’s the players,” Groninger said.
And following a 10-day layoff, the Wolves are ready to get back to action, as tonight’s contest opens a three-game slate over the next week heading into the holiday break.
Following tonight’s contest, UWG closes out 2012 with a Saturday home date against Auburn-Montgomery, followed by a home tilt against Coastal Georgia on Dec. 18.
“I think our team is tired of practice. We’re ready to start playing. We’ll have a couple of days between Columbus State and Auburn-Montgomery. They’re off to a great start. They’re 10-1 and nationally-ranked in NAIA. It’s going to be a great test for us,” Groninger said.
“Then we’ve got Coastal Georgia on that Tuesday. Again, another team that’s off to a great start. They’re 8-2. We played them last year, so we have a little bit of a feel. They do a great job. So it’ll be three tough games, but that’s what you want to play at this time of the year.”