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  • Daniel Hooker

WCU’s Vonterius Woolbright Collects Fourth SoCon Weekly Honor



For a league-leading fourth time this season, Western Carolina senior guard Vonterius Woolbright has been named the Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for games played Dec. 18 through the Christmas holiday. Woolbright collects the award in consecutive weeks – and for the third time over the past four weeks of the season.

 

Previously named the SoCon’s Player of the Month in November, Woolbright earned three of the four weekly awards given out by the conference during December.

 

Woolbright is just the second Catamount men’s basketball player to earn four weekly awards from the SoCon in the same season, joining former WCU standout Frankie King who collected weekly plaudits four times back in the 1993-94 season. King earned a WCU best six career weekly awards from 1993-95, while Kevin Martin (2001-04) had five in his career to rank among the best Catamount performers. Woolbright joins Greg Dennis (1979-82) and Trey Sumler (2011-14) to each record four honors in their WCU careers.

 

Woolbright recorded two more double-doubles last week to run his seasonal tally to nine, tied with Akron’s Enrique Freeman for the most in the NCAA entering the final week of the 2023 calendar year. For the week, he averaged a double-double with 19.0 points and 14.5 rebounds per game, adding 5.0 assists and a steal per game in helping the Catamounts to a 2-0 record including the squad’s second victory over a Power Five Conference opponent with the win at Vanderbilt on Dec. 19.

 

A product of Albany, Ga., Woolbright started his week by posting his seventh 20-point-plus performance of the season with the double-double effort of 22 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists in the road win over SEC-foe Vanderbilt. Woolbright scored WCU's final four points as the Catamounts erased a seven-point deficit over the game's final three minutes. His driving scoop shot fell through the cylinder with 1.5 seconds remaining to lift WCU to the 63-62 win in the Music City, just the third over an SEC opponent all time.

 

In WCU’s win over Brescia, Woolbright scored 16 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds including a season-high five offensive boards. He added seven assists – six coming in the first half alone – and a pair of steals in the fourth-straight victory for the Catamounts.

 

Woolbright continues to average a double-double this season with a SoCon-leading 21.1 points and 12.3 rebounds per game – marks that rank him 12th and third in the NCAA. He also averages a nation-best 10.25 defensive85-47  boards per game. Woolbright is also third in the SoCon – tied for 43rd nationally – with a team-best 5.2 assist per game average.

 

Western Carolina (10-2) returns to the hardwood in the backend of a Catamount basketball doubleheader on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center on Saturday, Dec. 30, in its final game of the 2023 calendar year and last nonconference game before the start of league play. WCU’s women host Southern Wesleyan at 1 p.m. ahead of the men’s tilt against King University at 4 p.m. It’s just the second all-time meeting between the Catamounts and NCAA Division II, Conference Carolina-member Tornado – and the first in over 65 years as WCU claimed the only other series meeting back in 1958.

 

Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live audio from the Catamount Sports Network and live stats available at CatamountSports.com.

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