Laughter could be heard coming from the Augusta State women's locker room after Saturday's game, as Lady Jaguars emerged one-by-one with smiles on their faces.
In a 5-12 season, such moments are hard to come by. But lately they've been occurring more often. For the third consecutive game, Augusta State walked off the court with something to be proud of, an 82-55 blowout of Georgia Southwestern at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
"The last three times have definitely been a lot happier," Augusta State coach Tes Sobomehin said. "One of our game points for today was to prove our improvement. We know we have improved, and we needed to show it with what we do on the basketball court."
The Lady Hurricanes, winless in the Peach Belt Conference in 11 tries this season, were no match for the Lady Jaguars.
Augusta State, which is second to last in the conference standings, knocked off ranked rival USC Aiken on Monday, nearly pulled off another upset in a 3-point loss to conference leader Francis Marion on Wednesday and kept the momentum going with its largest margin of victory this season.
"We started a little slow, but I think our chemistry is much better," Augusta State junior Brittany Jarrard said. "We were on a losing streak, but it's starting to turn around."
Jarrard was one of five Lady Jaguars who scored in double figures. She led Augusta State with 15 points in 20 minutes.
Eboni Davis, another junior guard, recorded a career-high 10 assists.
The 55 points allowed by the Lady Jaguars was a season-best.
"We drill defense like no other," Sobomehin said. "It's just rewarding to see it kind of come together finally."
Augusta State held Georgia Southwestern to 24 first-half points. The Lady Hurricanes hit only 18 of 70 shots and went 2-for-16 from 3-point range.
The Lady Jaguars, who led 32-24 at halftime, shot 59.4 percent (19-for-32) in the second half and scored 38 points in the paint.
Forward Jamilah Sharp led Georgia Southwestern with eight points and 13 rebounds.
Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.