Head Coach Anita Howard knows what outsiders see when they look at the Georgia Southern women’s basketball team. They see a 5-10 record and a program rebuilding.
What the average person doesn’t see is a competitive 2-2 conference record and the many records that they’ve broken as a program this season.
The team set a new school record for three pointers made in a single game, 14, against Louisiana at the beginning of the month, senior guard Alexis Brown surpassed the 1,000 point mark in January, the team’s 44-point win against Wofford was the largest road win for the program since 1991, and attendance numbers at home games are the highest they’ve been in years.
She’s only been in Statesboro for a few months and in that time, she has been focusing on changing the culture of the team. Though the team has struggled with consistency and have dropped three of the past five games, team morale is up.
“It’s expected for them to, kind of, go back to their old habits,” Howard said in a phone interview. “You’ve got to get one percent better each practice, each day, each game. You can see that within the quarters.”
Some of the team’s early losses can be attributed to a tough schedule, she said, but the team is already on track to surpass the three conference wins accumulated each of the past two seasons. Several of the team’s opponents have either made trips to the NCAA Tournament, won their conference, or come close to it.
Howard has heavily relied on switching up the starting lineup this season and taking advantage of the roster’s depth.
Senior guard Alexis Brown has had noticeably fewer minutes this season than the rest of her collegiate career and has only made seven starts this season. As one of the best players in the conference, some may be confused by the move.
Howard insists that the starting five is not as crucial as some may think because everyone gets the opportunity to play during the game, and Brown has learned to embrace the change.
“She was the leading scorer and she had to adjust and it did take a toll on her emotionally,” Howard said. “She literally has peeled off that layer of what she thought she needed to be for the team to what we need her to be for the team. I’m excited to see her grow.”
The team hopes to snap their losing streak during their two-game homestand beginning tonight at 6:30 p.m. against Troy and South Alabama on Saturday.
Amanda Arnold, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, email@example.com