No. 9 West Georgia Tech ran its winning streak to seven games with a 87-53 victory over conference rival Georgia Northwestern Saturday afternoon in Carrollton.
The Golden Knights are 15-7 overall and 1-0 in conference play while GNTC fell to 5-16, 0-1, with the loss.
WGTC honored its outgoing sophomore class during the game. Kadriana Howard (Turner High School and Sycamore, Ga.), Jasmine Williams (South Paulding High School and Paulding County) and Kelsey Walthall (Pebblebrook High School and Atlanta) were all presented yellow roses by West Georgia Tech head coach Kenny Edwards in the halftime ceremony.
WGTC interim president Pat Hannon delivered remarks in which he lauded their achievements in the classroom as well as their efforts and success on the basketball court.
“We are very proud of you, and we applaud everything that you have done on the court and in the classroom,” Hannon said in the remarks. “Not only has this group of young ladies excelled on the court, where they have the best record in the country against NJCAA Division 1 teams, at 9-6, but they have the best overall GPA as a team in the history of West Georgia Tech women’s basketball. That is a tremendous accomplishment.”
Head coach Kenny Edwards also addressed the players.
“I’m so proud to be your coach, and I’m grateful for everything that you all have done for the program,” Edwards said. “You have all worked so hard this year and you are laying the foundation for future success. Again, it’s an honor to be your coach, and I look forward to seeing what we all can do together, with your leadership, over the rest of the season.”
Howard is averaging 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals per game while shooting 53-percent from the field. She is currently No. 6 in the nation in steals. Back in January Howard became the first West Georgia Tech student-athlete to win national player of the week honors when she was named NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
Williams has been with the Golden Knights women’s basketball program for two seasons and is averaging nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals per game. She leads the state of Georgia and is third in the nation in three-point shooting percentage, at 48-percent.
Walthall is averaging 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block per game. She has earned conference player of the week honors a school-record four times this season.
Kadriana Howard led the Knights with 22 points. Kelsey Walthall scored 17, Keonna Harris had 13 and Kierra Smith added 12 to round out the double-figure scoring for West Georgia Tech.
West Georgia Tech got off to a slow start, trailing 15-12 at the midway point of the second half. But the Golden Knights used its trademark full-court pressure defense to eventually wear down the Lady Bobcats and went in to halftime with a 42-27 lead.
GNTC couldn’t get the lead into single digits the rest of the way.
“We came out a little sluggish but we got our legs under us and starting playing Knights basketball late in the first half, and we really set the tempo early in the second half,” said WGTC head coach Kenny Edwards. “Everybody that played for us played with great effort, and our three sophomores showed leadership. I’m really proud of all of them. This was an emotional day for us, and we ended up with a big conference win.”
West Georgia Tech and Georgia Northwestern will meet again in just five days, as the Knights travel to Rome on Thursday for the second game in the season series. Tip-time is 7 p.m. at the Winthrop-King Centre.
West Georgia Tech men’s basketball earned a 76-60 win over the Wallace State (Ala.) Community College junior varsity squad Saturday afternoon in Hanceville, Ala.
The Golden Knights, winners of four of its last five, improved to 9-14 overall. They currently sit in a tie for first place in GCAA – Region 17 play with a 3-1 record.
Orlandis Hill came off the bench to lead WGTC with 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.
Devante Orebeau added 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Martez Winston and Codi Linton added 10 points apiece to round out double-figure scoring for West Georgia Tech. Linton added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
WGTC shot 43 percent from the field (29-of-67), 36 percent from three-point range (4-of-11), and 88 percent from the charity stripe (15-of-17).
West Georgia Tech will close out the regular season over the next couple of weeks with three games remaining, two of them in conference play which will determine seeding going into the Region 17 Tournament which takes place February 22-23 in Covington, Ga.