November 20, 2017

West Georgia Tech Women Enter National Rankings at No. 10; Knock off Southern Union 58-49

(Carrollton, GA) – The West Georgia Tech Golden Knights women’s basketball team entered the national rankings this week — coming in at no. 10 in the NJCAA D-III Women’s Basketball Top-10 poll.

Kenny Edwards’ Golden Knights are following a similar script from last season, which saw them enter the Top-10 for the first time in program history last January 16th. From that point on, WGTC stormed into the postseason, earning the program’s first-ever appearance in the NJCAA D-III Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament in Rochester, Minn., where they finished in seventh place.

“Give all of the credit to our players, who have worked so hard in the pre-season and during the season to continue to get better,” Edwards said. “We are playing our best basketball right now and I believe we’ll continue to grow and get better as we finish the year. But we have some tough games ahead of us, some tough situations ahead of us. I’m excited to see how we respond.”

This year’s squad has won eight of its last nine games and currently stands at 9-6 overall and 1-0 in conference play. WGTC’s lone loss during that stretch came at Gadsden State, a powerful D-I program which is now 15-2 on the year. WGTC lost that game 82-74 but was within five points in the final minutes. The Golden Knights will get another shot at knocking of Gadsden State this Saturday at home.

West Georgia Tech is known around the country for its full-court pressure defense, which has led to 17.5 steals per contest, good enough for second in the nation. WGTC leads the nation in rebounding margin, with a staggering plus-28.5 rebounds-per-contest average. They average 55.3 rebounds per game, which is second in the country.

Leading the way in the rebounding department is Joi McCoughtry, a 6-0 freshman from Atlanta (Creekside H.S.), with 11.1 rebounds per contest. McCoughtry also leads the team in scoring with 12 points per game.

Golden Knight Keonna Harris #32. (Courtesy of WGTC SID)

Golden Knight Keonna Harris #32. (Courtesy of WGTC SID)

The Golden Knights feature a balanced lineup scoring-wise, with five players averaging five or more points per game. WGTC has held its opponents to under 50 points per game five times this season.

On the same day they entered the NJCAA D-III Top-10, the Golden Knights knocked off another JUCO Division 1 program with a 58-49 home win over Southern Union State Community College Wednesday night in Carrollton. West Georgia Tech, winners of nine of its last ten, improved to 10-6 overall on the year.

Southern Union is the fourth Division 1 opponent that the Golden Knights have beaten so far this season. SUCC fell to 9-6.

Tattyanna Larocque led the Knights in scoring with nine points. Joi McCoughtry added eight points to go along with nine rebounds.

West Georgia Tech held Southern Union to 30.5-percent shooting from the field (18-of-59). SUCC made just 2-of-22 shots from three-point range.

WGTC shot 32.3 percent from the floor (20-of-62) but connected on 3-of-8 three-pointers.

WGTC came into the game as the top rebounding team in the country. The Golden Knights won the rebounding battle again, 53-42.

WGTC overcame a sloppy first half to take a 24-15 lead into intermission, thanks to a 16-7 run to close the half.

SUCC opened the second half on a 6-0 run to pull within three at 24-21, but the Golden Knights responded with 13-0 run of its own to take a 37-21 lead with 11:34 remaining.

West Georgia Tech’s biggest lead was 19, when they led 44-25 with 9:23 to go. The closest the Lady Bison would get was the game’s final margin, 58-49.

West Georgia Tech returns to the hardwood Saturday afternoon with a home game against another Division 1 opponent as Gadsden State (15-2) comes in for a 4 p.m. tip.

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