CARROLLTON, Ga. ---- Two second half scoring draughts and 22 turnovers did in the No. 20 Auburn Montgomery women's basketball team this afternoon in a frustrating 67-57 loss to West Georgia.
The Warhawks (10-2) led 33-32 at halftime, and shot 46.3 percent from the field compared to only 38.3 percent for the Wolverines in the game.
West Georgia (6-3) started the second half on a 12-1 run, however, and used a 10-0 run later in the half to put the game away for good. The Wolverines also scored 30 points off of turnovers compared to only 11 for AUM.
"Our team did not play smart basketball today," Head Coach Dan Davis said. "You can't expect to win when you turn the ball over 22 times. It's disappointing because we played with effort, but effort doesn't always win. You've got to play smart too. We've got some areas that we have to keep working on as we get prepared to go back into conference play."
AUM came out strong to start the game, shooting 50 percent from the floor in the first half (including 4-of-5 from long distance) and leading by as much as seven points before the intermission. Katie Williams led the offensive charge for the Warhawks, finishing with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range.
The Wolverines took control at the start of the second half, taking a 44-34 lead with 16:58 remaining. AUM battled back, and an Ashley Rush jump shot cut the deficit to 54-51 with over nine minutes to go.
West Georgia then came up with their second big run of the game, extending their lead to 64-51 (their largest of the game) and holding on for the victory. Brittany Johnson led the Wolverines with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Jerlisa Taylor added 13 points and nine rebounds.
LaKenya Drayton finished in double figures with 11 points, despite missing most of the first half due to foul trouble. AUM also had a strong effort from its guards, with Jazmine Jackson (eight points), Psachal Maize (seven points) and Rush (six points) all supporting Williams from the outside.
"Our guards really scored, and it was probably one of our better games from them as a whole," Davis said. "They combined for 38 points, which is great. I think that's something we can build on."
AUM now has an extended break before returning to action at the Ave Maria University Holiday Classic on Dec. 30-31. With 10 wins, and a 4-0 record in the Southern States Athletic Conference, Davis is pleased with his team's position going into the break.
"Any loss is always frustrating," he said. "But when you take a step back and look at the big picture, you have to be pretty pleased with where we are. There's a lot of basketball left, and we know we haven't reached our ceiling yet."
The Warhawks face Madonna University at 1 p.m. on Dec. 30 in the opening game of the tournament. It will be the first meeting between the two schools.