CARROLLTON, Ga. - Seven games remain in the 2017-18 regular season for West Georgia men's basketball, and the run to get back into the mix for a spot at the 2018 Gulf South Conference tournament begins Thursday at Delta State, as the Wolves take on the Statesmen at 8:30 p.m.
West Georgia enters Thursday's contest with a 9-11 record on the year and a 4-9 spot against Gulf South Conference competition. The Wolves beat West Alabama last Thursday at The Coliseum by an 81-76 score, then fell on Saturday to Montevallo in an 81-73 loss. Delta State comes into the game with a 9-12 overall record this season and a 7-6 spot in Gulf South Conference action. The Statesmen have lost five of their last seven games, but are coming off of a 76-64 victory on the road at Mississppi College on Saturday.
Racing for the GSC Tourney
Delta State comes into Thursday's game in a healthier current position for the 2018 Gulf South Conference tournament, but if the tournament started today, the Statesmen would be the seventh-place team in an eight-team tournament. The Wolves currently sit three games out of the tourney field, and will need to play at a higher level over the final seven games of the year to earn a spot in this year's bracket.
Two Ends of the Spectrum
The Wolves and the Statesmen sit on two different ends of the spectrum in terms of offense and defense this season, as West Georgia is second in the league in scoring offense (86.1 ppg) and last in the conference in scoring defense (87.4 ppg). Delta State comes into the game last in the league in scoring offense (63.2 ppg) and first in the GSC in scoring defense (63.5 ppg).
Leaders in the GSC
West Georgia junior guard Marquill Smith has been on a tear of late, as he has scored at least 21 points in each of the last eight games, rising to second in the Gulf South Conference in scoring average at 21.8 points per game. Smith has also had at least eight rebounds in each of the last six games, including picking up two double-doubles in that span, and he is fifth in the league in rebounding, averaging 8.4 boards per contest. Aren Ulmer continues his solid season of distribution, average 4.7 assists per game, good for third in the conference.
The Last Meeting
The combination of Brett Warner and P.J. Davis outdueled the Wolves' big three of Smith, Paul Turner and William Sides, as the DSU pair accounted for 36 of Delta State's 76 points in a 76-56 victory for the Statesmen in Carrollton. Karlos Odum hit for 16 points and Turner for 11 in the loss for the Wolves, which was just the second game of the year for Turner.