It's back to the Gulf South Conference grind for the University of West Georgia women's basketball team as tonight it resumes league play with a 7 p.m. showdown at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee.
After being off for nearly two weeks for the NCAA-mandated winter break, the Wolves (8-3, 4-0 GSC) are glad to have the opportunity to get back into a normal routine.
UWG head coach Scott Groninger understands the challenge of getting his players back into full gear once a new year begins and conference play restarts.
"These first couple of games are really tough because you're trying to kick the rust off and trying to get back into a rhythm a little bit," Groninger said. "Being off for so long and not having class or regular practice time can really throw you out of your normal routine."
That rust reared its ugly head for the Wolves this past Saturday when they fell 67-62 at home versus Point in a contest where they shot just 31 percent from the field in the second half. Despite not playing well, the head coach credited their non-conference visitors for executing at the right times.
"We were disappointed in Saturday, but I don't want to take anything away from Point. I thought that they played really well," Groninger said. "They made 10 3s and made the plays that they needed to make. We've had a couple of days to look back at our mistakes and move on from it."
Things don't get easier for UWG tonight when facing Union (10-1, 3-0), which is ranked No. 10 in the D2SIDA Poll.
Led by Tennessee-Chattanooga transfer Chelsey Shumpert, the Bulldogs currently boast one of the more prolific scoring attacks in the GSC by shooting 51 percent from the field. In this battle of two undefeated ballclubs in conference, Groninger knows that a victory here would be a huge table-setter for the rest of conference play.
"Union is a top-10 team in the country with arguably the best player in Division II, so that's a tough opponent to try kick off the rust against," Groninger said. "I don't think West Georgia has ever won at Union, so this will be a good opportunity for us."