– Courtesy University of West Georgia Athletics
Another pair of Gulf South Conference games looms for the UWG women’s basketball team, beginning with a 2 p.m. contest with nationally ranked North Alabama on Saturday in The Coliseum.
The Lions will be one of the toughest tests thus far for the Wolves, as UNA is 14-1 overall with a 7-1 mark in league play. North Alabama is ranked 24th in the WBCA Coaches’ Poll and 13th in the D2SIDA Media National Poll.
West Georgia is fresh off a 72-44 victory over Auburn-Montgomery on Tuesday, snapping a three-game skid to put the Wolves at 9-5 on the season with a 5-2 mark in GSC play.
The UWG defense will have their hands full on Saturday afternoon as UNA boasts the top-ranked offense in the league, averaging 86.3 points per game. Those numbers are fourth best in all of Division II. But the Lions aren’t all offense, as their defensive numbers rank fourth in the league, allowing just 57.9 points per game.
In recent history, the Wolves have had the Lions’ number, winning seven of the last eight matchups, including the most recent meeting, a 60-57 victory in the opening round of the Gulf South Conference in Carrollton. All-time, however, the Lions hold a 38-32 advantage in the series.
UWG is coming off a game in which four players scored in double figures, led by 12 from Aysha Harris. Both Kayla Carter and D’Asia Cain scored 11 while Jessica Brown’s 10 points rounded out the quartet of Wolves in double-figures.
North Alabama dropped their first game of the season last Saturday, falling 65-62 at home to Union. The Lions rebounded with a 92-65 win over Christian Brothers on Tuesday night. Sophomore Ivy Wallen scored 29 points in that win.
Wallen is a part of a UNA trio that averages over 15 points per game. Ivy’s sister, Emma, leads the Lions in scoring and ranks second in the GSC, putting up 19.7 points per game. Brittany Panetti is fourth in the league in scoring with a 16.9 points per game clip, while Ivy Wallen is fifth in the conference, scoring 16.6 points per game.
Aysha Harris and the UWG defense will look to disrupt the Lions’ high-powered offense on Saturday, and Harris will be a big part of that. The league’s leader in steals has 12 steals in her past two games including five against AUM on Tuesday. The junior from Memphis, Tenn. averages 3.3 steals per game, which leads the league and ranks 11th in the nation. On offense, Harris leads the Wolves in assists, and ranks sixth in the league in assists per game, dishing out 3.3 per game.
Saturday’s big Gulf South Conference game tips off at 2 p.m. from The Coliseum. Fans can also follow the game with live stats and live video at the above links, and also get updates from Twitter through @WolvesWBB and @UWGAthletics. Updates through Facebook can be found at West Georgia Wolves.