In his third season leading the Augusta State women’s basketball team, coach Nate Teymer said the foundation has been laid for the future.
Now, the Lady Jaguars will try to take the next step and compete with the Peach Belt Conference elite this season.
“We’re not there yet,” Teymer said. “Hopefully, this is the year we turn the corner.”
Augusta State opens its home schedule when it plays host to Claflin at 5:30 today. The Lady Jaguars opened the season with wins at North Greenville and West Georgia in the past two weeks.
Last season, Augusta State went 12-15 overall (7-11 in conference play) – a four-win improvement in the overall record – and finished in the top four in the East Division to qualify for the conference tournament. The Lady Jaguars won their most games since 2007-08, their last winning season.
“Everything was an improvement from the year before, but it’s not where we want to be,” Teymer said. “We were 12-15 and everyone said that’s a great year. Then they said the men were 17-11 and had a down year. We want to get to the expectations where 17-11 is a down year for us.”
Augusta State returns all five starters and six of its top seven scorers, including junior guard Jemimah Ashby (team-high 9.7 scoring average last season) and senior guard Brittany White (9.5 points, 4.9 assists a game).
In two games this season, Ashby leads the team in scoring average (15.0).
Teymer added three newcomers, two of whom are starters: 5-foot-1 junior guard Tanchelle Hollingsworth (transfer from Johnson County Community College) and 6-1 senior center Taylor Ayers (Virginia Tech).
“In the open floor, she can really create havoc on a defense,” Teymer said of Hollingsworth.
Ayers is a former Laney standout who was the 2009 Augusta Chronicle’s Georgia Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
“She gives us someone inside other teams are going to have to deal with,” Teymer said. “She should help tie up some things inside that hurt us last year.”