by Mark Jagord, sports information assistant
MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga.—The Georgia College women's basketball team (4-0) continued their success with their fifth-consecutive home-opening victory, this time over defending Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) champion Clark Atlanta University (4-2), 72-51 Tuesday night at Centennial Center.
Head coach Maurice Smith is now just one win away from equaling his best start at Georgia College (2010-11)."I thought it was a great team effort tonight," said Smith. "We got some really good lift off the bench and that was key with a lot of our points coming off transition."
The Bobcats used a balanced attack that saw 11 different players scoring with only junior Enisha Donley (Loganville, Ga.) reaching double-digits at 13 points. Seven of the 11 scored between six and eight points for the night with three players accounting for 14-of-18 assists.Seniors Thresia Elskamp (Potosi, Wis.) and Brandi McKinney (Cincinnati) co-led the team in assists with five each, while junior Shanteona Keys (Roswell, Ga.) registered four helpers. Elskamp and sophomore Kayla Upchurch (Alpharetta, Ga.) led the squad with eight rebounds apiece, while junior Belinda Schaafsma (Momence, Ill.) had seven boards. Senior Abby Slocumb (Suwanee, Ga.) had a team-high three blocks.
Both teams traded the lead early on and were tied 9-9 five minutes into the contest. The Bobcats more than doubled the Panthers' output the rest of the half by a 33-15 margin and ended the half with a commanding 42-24 lead shooting 50 percent from the floor compared to 32 percent for the Panthers. Georgia College also held a substantial edge in rebounding for the game, 50-33.
Having gone to the NCAA Tournament last season, Clark Atlanta was led by Erika Sumpter (12 points) and Denissea Law (10 points). The Panthers' top player, Conisha Hicks was held to just nine points primarily due to some solid defensive work by freshman LaRice Walker (Franklin, Ga.).
The Georgia College Department of Athletics, two-time winners of the PBC Commissioner's Cup, sponsors 11 varsity athletic programs at the NCAA Division II level. As a Division II program, Bobcat Athletics prides itself on balancing the life of the student-athlete, evidenced by the teams' multiple appearances in post-season competition as well as documented academic success and community-service involvement. Sign up at @GCBobcats on Twitter and Facebook for up-to-the-minute reports, and visit www.GCBobcats.com for more information, and to nominate your favorite former Bobcats and Colonials to the GC Athletics Hall of Fame.