With the past 17 days off, Augusta State women's basketball coach Greg Wilson adjusted his team's offense yet again.
The Lady Jaguars lost their third post player of the season when Leighla Holder tore her anterior cruciate ligament during a practice. With virtually no inside game to rely on, Wilson now will focus on one style of play.
"We're just flat out trying to fly down the floor," he said. "We're trying to defend man-to-man, end to end and keep the tempo high."
The Lady Jaguars (4-1) will test their up-tempo game against Fort Valley State at 5:30 tonight in the Conoco Phillips Christmas Classic at USC Aiken. In the nightcap, the Lady Pacers (6-2) will face Allen University at 7:30 p.m.
The tournament kicks off four consecutive days of basketball at USC Aiken. Augusta State and USC Aiken will switch opponents for Wednesday's games at 5:30 and 7:30. Then Thursday, the Augusta State men and USC Aiken men will take on Mount Olive and Tusculum in a two-day event.
After this week's tournament, the USC Aiken women will be off until Jan. 3. Therein lies the problem, Lady Pacers coach Mike Brandt said.
"It's hard to get them to practice now because they're focus is kind of on getting home and getting a break," he said. "Our goal is to try and keep them as focused as possible."
Wilson's goal is for his team to survive this week's slate of five games in six days with just one scholarship player - Cheryl Audain (6.6 points, 6.8 rebounds a game).
"This brutal portion of our schedule is going to set the tone (for the rest of the season)," Wilson said. "We're 4-1, but we haven't played very well at all. But I think the last two weeks of practice have really helped us."
Senior guards Alshaa' Hodges and Ernesia Wideman lead the Lady Jaguars in scoring with 15 and 14 points a game, respectively.
USC Aiken senior forward Erica Larsen averages a team-high 11.8 points per game.