CARROLLTON, Ga. - Following a nine-day hiatus for fall semester finals, the West Georgia Wolves will return to the court on Saturday afternoon, taking on the Montevallo Falcons in Gulf South Conference play. The women are scheduled for a 3 p.m. start, with the men to follow at approximately 5 p.m.
West Georgia comes into the 10th game of the season riding a four-game winning streak. The Wolves opened the year with a 2-3 record, losing two of the first five games to nationally-ranked opponents. UWG heads into Saturday’s matchup at 6-3 and 2-0 against GSC opponents. Montevallo comes into the game with a 3-8 record overall and a six-game losing streak.
The West Georgia Wolves have had five double-doubles this season, including two last Monday against Shorter. In that contest, Marquill Smith picked up his second of the year with 26 points and 11 rebounds while Gerald Blount put up 19 points and 10 boards. Blount has been close throughout the year but had either double-digit points or double-digit rebounds in six of the eight games without a double-double. Marquill Smith had the most recent double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds against Point.
SMITH IN THE POINTS RACE
For nine straight games to start the season, senior Marquill Smith has scored at least 20 points and comes into Game 10 leading the GSC in scoring at 27.2 points per game. That number is also fifth in the nation among Division II scorers. He has scored from all areas on the floor during that streak and has had four or more three-pointers in six of the last seven games. The streak is the longest 20-point streak of Smith’s career at UWG, one more than his eight-game streak in 2017-18. His highest scoring output of the year came against UAH when Smith scored 34 in the UWG victory.
The Wolves are second in the Gulf South Conference in free-throw shooting, hitting 77.3 percent of free-throw shots this season. Forward Gerald Blount has been outstanding at the charity stripe and leads the GSC with a 92.9 free-throw percentage. He has hit 26-of-28 from the line this year, and missed his first free-throw of the year against Point, opening the season with 23 straight makes. Marquill Smith leads the GSC in made free-throws, hitting 50-of-67 for a 74.6 free-throw percentage.
- West Georgia picked up 22 points off the bench against Point last week, with the second double-figure scoring game for a bench player as Michael Zabetakis had 14 in the victory.
- Deng Nhial holds a slim lead over Zabetakis in bench scoring this season, as Nhial has 44 points off the bench on the year compared to 43 from Zabetakis.
- The Point game saw Zabetakis score the most of any bench scorer this season, surpassing Nhial, who had 13 against Johnson C. Smith.
West Georgia received 22 points from the bench against Point, the most of any game thus far this season.
- The Wolves have now hit 67 three-pointers through the first seven games of the season. In the first five victories of the year, West Georgia has hit 51 three-pointers, averaging 8.5 made three-pointers per game, compared to 5.3 per game in three losses.
- The most three-pointers in a game for the Wolves this season thus far came one week apart from each other. Greg James hit 7-for-11 on November 17. Marquill Smith has been 5-for-10 twice and has hit at least four treys in each of the last six games.
10 YEARS IN THE COLISEUM
- This is the 10th season in The Coliseum, and the Wolves have played 125 games on the men’s side in the facility. West Georgia is 4-0 on the year and 87-40 overall in The Coliseum.
- The biggest crowd in the history of The Coliseum for West Georgia basketball was more than 5,000 on February 18, 2012, against Valdosta State. The Wolves won that one 85-52 on a night when Gavin Field broke the UWG record for career three-pointers and joined the 1,000-point club.
Including this year’s roster, 85 players from West Georgia have played on the floor at The Coliseum in the 125-game history of the venue.
GSC WEEKLY AWARDS
- Jared Simmons became the second UWG player to win a weekly award this past week, as he was named GSC Freshman of the Week. Marquill Smith was named Player of the Week on November 27.
- Smith is narrowing in on becoming the 11th player in West Georgia basketball history to score 1,000 points in a career. He comes into Saturday’s game with 870 total points, needing 130 points to break that threshold.
- Marquill Smith is leading the GSC in scoring (27.2) and rebounding (7.9), while Aren Ulmer leads the league in steals, averaging 2.8 steals per game.
- Through the first nine games of the year, Ulmer has at least one steal in every game, and he has at least three steals in four of the last seven games, including five against Point at home last week.
TOP TEAM CATEGORIES
- West Georgia is now third in the league in scoring offense, averaging 81.7 points per game on the year. The Wolves are second in free-throw percentage at .773, blocked shots (3.22 bpg), and steals with 8.44 steals per game.
- In addition, the Wolves are now fourth in turnover margin with a ratio of 1.78. West Georgia is also fifth in field goal percentage, hitting shots at a .480 clip and fifth in three-point field goal percentage, hitting .376 percent from long range.