CARROLLTON, Georgia -- The sixth-ranked West Georgia Tech women's basketball team tied a school record with its eighth win over NJCAA D-I competition, 55-40 over the East Georgia State College Lady Bobcats Saturday afternoon in front of an overflow homecoming crowd in Carrollton.
Jacky Jones, unstoppable at times, had 11 points and 16 rebounds. The four-time Region 17 player of the week also had two assists, two steals and two blocks.
Brianna Cousin grabbed 15 rebounds while scoring eight points. Eight of Cousins' rebounds were on the offensive end. Cousin is averaging 15.3 rebounds per game over the last three contests while coming off the bench as West Georgia Tech's sixth-man.
"I can't say enough about what Brianna Cousin and Jacky Jones both bring to our team in terms of effort and intensity," West Georgia Tech head coach Kenny Edwards said. "I'm proud of this team for the effort today. We couldn't buy a bucket in the first quarter but we did all of the other things to stay in the game. This was a good, solid win for us. Everyone that played did things well and perhaps didn't do some things well. But all of them played hard."
Kia Jefferson added 9 points with four rebounds and had a career-high 7 steals.
West Georgia Tech, the top rebounding team in the nation, had 57 against the Lady Bobcats. They were especially effective on the offensive glass, with 23 offensive rebounds.
West Georgia Tech and the Lady Bobcats bloodied each in a first half dominated by both defenses.
The score was tied 6-6 at the end of the first quarter.
East Georgia State led 13-9 early in the second quarter before a 9-0 run by WGTC gave the Golden Knights an 18-13 advantage with 5.44 left in the first half. WGTC led 22-20 at halftime.
The game went back-and-forth for the first seven minutes of the third quarter. With the score tied 30-30 and 2:40 on the clock, West Georgia Tech's JaNoah Daniels drilled a three to give the Black and Gold a 33-30 lead. On the next possession Kia Jefferson hit another long-range shot putting WGTC in front 36-30.
Jacky Jones stole the ball on East Georgia's next possession, and eventually scored after the Golden Knights cleared the glass with five-consecutive offensive rebounds before Jones finally put the ball in the bucket. WGTC held a 38-30, the crowd was alive and the Golden Knights were never really threatened again.
"That was a huge possession for us and Brianna Cousin had probably four or five of those offensive rebounds," Edwards said. "You've got to do things like that to win games when you aren't playing your best offensively, you've got to rebound and play with effort. We did that today and that's why we won the game."
West Georgia Tech has a 15-player bench and Edwards uses every player, along with a stifling full court pressure defense mixed in with other defenses. That style of play typically forces the opposition into turnovers. That happened again today.
"We used just about every defense we have," Edwards said. "We have the type of team that can do that and that's going to be a big factor for us going down the stretch. We have worked hard on our defensive rotations throughout the season and we continue to improve in that area. This is the deepest team I've had as a coach here, and I can honestly say that I feel confident with all 15 of my players if they are on the court. You don't always have that luxury."
West Georgia Tech, now 18-5, 2-0, previously won eight games over Division I competition two seasons ago. That year's team advanced to the NJCAA D-III National Championship Tournament in Minnesota.
The Golden Knights will have a chance to break the record Monday night when they host Chattahoochee Tech at 5:30 p.m. in Carrollton.