CARROLLTON, Ga. - The final push for the Gulf South Conference begins on Thursday evening for the West Georgia Wolves in Montgomery, Alabama, as the Wolves take on the Auburn-Montgomery Warhawks.
West Georgia at Auburn-Montgomery
When: February 14, 2019 - 9:00 PM
Where: Montgomery, Alabama (AUM Athletics Complex)
Last Meeting: Feb. 22, 2018 - UWG 86, AUM 80
West Georgia split last weekend's games to move to 13-10 on the year and 8-7 in GSC play. The Wolves lost at home to Valdosta State on Thursday evening before taking down the West Florida Argonauts on Saturday at The Coliseum. Senior guard Marquill Smith averaged 31.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, leading UWG to an 87-79 victory. The Warhawks also split last weekend, falling to 7-16 on the year with a 3-12 record in conference play. AUM beat Mississippi College 87-85 on the road, the lost 77-67 at Delta State.
Player of the Week Honors
Smith has been an elite player for the Wolves throughout the season, but in the last five games, he has stepped up to an even higher level. He leads the GSC in scoring and rebounding with 26.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on the year, but has averaged 31.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game in that span. He has 10 double-doubles on the year and hits three-pointers at a 40 percent clip, good for third in the conference. He has been named Gulf South Conference Player of the Week four times, including this past week.
UWG on the Line
The Wolves are sixth in the league in free-throw shooting this season, hitting 73 percent from the charity stripe on the year. Five players are hitting 70 percent or better from the free-throw line, but Smith has been getting to the line with otherworldly frequency. Smith hits free-throws at a 74 percent clip and has hit 130 shots from the free-throw line. The next player in line in the Gulf South Conference in free-throws attempted is Bryson Butler from Union, who has attempted 125 free-throws on the year.
Matchup to Watch
West Georgia's ability to control the paint will play a big role in the final score of this game, as Auburn-Montgomery has Aaron Reddick and Mikel Davis, a pair of 6-8 men in the middle who combine for 16 points and 12 rebounds per game. West Georgia's Gerald Blount and Willie Barnes will need to control that pair in the lane and on the boards if the Wolves are to have a shot at a win on the road Thursday.
GSC Tournament Picture
The picture is clearer now, as four teams have punched their ticket for the 2019 Gulf South Conference Tournament already. With two more wins, the Wolves will put enormous pressure on West Florida, a team that is currently two games back in the win column and three in the loss column. The Wolves have one less game currently, but that will be made up on the final day of the season. For now, winning is the biggest insurance policy the Wolves can carry to reach this year's postseason.