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Motlow College Athletic News

No. 9-ranked Bucks open basketball season with win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands

Nov. 2, 2017

Sophomore Dillon Smith scored 19 points to lead four double-digit scorers as the Motlow Bucks, ranked No. 9 in the nation in the NJCAA preseason poll, opened the 2017-18 basketball season with a 79-60 win over No. 18 Georgia Highlands in Rome, Georgia, Wednesday night.

Motlow (1-0) will travel to Niceville, Florida, for a pair of games this weekend. The Bucks play Lincoln Trail, Illinois, Friday at 4:30 p.m., then take on the host school Northwest Florida State, ranked No. 2 in the nation, Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m.

The Bucks and Chargers each started slow in their season opener before Motlow's Nick Marshall opened the scoring with a slam dunk two minutes into the contest. The Bucks led the entire game, with Smith and Isaiah Hart jump-starting the offense with first-half three pointers.

Motlow led 15-6 with 13 minutes left in the first half, increased that lead to as much as 13 points before the Chargers cut it to seven, 30-23, with two minutes remaining in the half, then closed out the final two minutes on a 10-6 run to lead 40-29 at intermission.

When the second half opened the Bucks picked right back up where they had left off, increasing their lead to 51-36 in the first three minutes. Georgia Highlands never got closer than nine points after the intermission, and Motlow's lead stretched as high as 21 with four minutes to play.

Smith had a team-high 19 points along with seven rebounds and two steals, while Hart had 13 points and four assists. Rashawn Fredericks and Nick Marshall each had 10 points, with Fredericks grabbing seven rebounds and Marshall pulling down six boards.

Also getting into the scoring column for the Bucks were Kevonte Corley with six, Kin Webster with five, Derrick Rayford and David Fraser with four each, Leo Castillo with three, and Anthony Yarbrough and Chad Emmons each scored two.

Fraser led the Bucks with nine rebounds and four steals, while Hart's four assists were a team high. Motlow shot 35 percent from the floor, including 29 percent from three-point range, and hit 18-28 free throws.

Following their Florida trip the Bucks will join the Lady Bucks in opening the TCCAA conference season with a trip to Jackson State on Friday, Nov. 10. The following day Motlow will play at Columbia State.

The first home game for both Motlow teams is Wednesday, Nov. 15. The Bucks will host the Cumberland University JV, while the Lady Bucks host the Martin Methodist JV. Tipoff for the women's game is 5:30 p.m., with the men to follow, and a tailgate party will be held in front of Nisbett Center prior to the contest. Free food and fun will be available at the tailgate party, which is being organized by the office of Student Services and the Student Government Association.