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Yante Maten named SEC Player of the Week

UGA Basketball: Yante Maten
Photo: Steffenie Burns/UGA

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia’s Yante Maten was named the Southeastern Conference’s Player of the Week, the league office in Birmingham, Ala., announced on Tuesday. Maten led the Bulldogs in a pair of decisive victories over Georgia Tech and Temple last week.

Maten, a 6-8, 243-pound, senior forward from Pontiac, Mich., averaged 27.0 points and 9.0 rebounds while connecting on 56.7 percent of his shots from the floor in those contests.

Last Tuesday, Maten scored 24 points and grabbed six boards to lead Georgia to an 80-59 win over Georgia Tech. That represented the Bulldogs’ largest margin of victory against the Yellow Jackets since 1965.

On Friday, Maten poured in a season-high 30 points and hauled in 12 rebounds in an 84-66 decision over Temple, which entered the game at No. 12 in the NCAA RPI.

Those performances also had historic implications.

Maten joined Georgia’s top-10 career rebounding leaders in the outing against Tech and then ascended into the Bulldogs’ top-10 career scoring leaders versus the Owls. Maten is one of only four players included on both of UGA’s top-10 ledgers for points and rebounds.

The performance against Temple represented Maten’s third 30-point, 10+ rebound outing of his career. Since 1996-97, Bulldogs have posted six such performances – three by Maten and one each by Trey Thompkins, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Jumaine Jones.

Maten is currently averaging 19.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, tallies that rank No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, among SEC leaders. He also ranks No. 3 in field goal percentage, No. 3 in average minutes and No. 9 in free throw percentage.

The SEC Player of the Week recognition is Maten’s second of his career. He also was honored on Jan. 2 last season after scoring 31 points in the Bulldogs’ win over Auburn the previous week.

Georgia is currently 9-2 on the season, matching the Bulldogs’ best 11-game start during Mark Fox’s nine seasons in Athens. The Bulldogs’ win tally features a trio of victories over 2017 NCAA Tournament teams Saint Mary’s, Marquette and Winthrop and last week’s impressive outings against Tech and Temple.

Georgia begins Southeastern Conference play this Sunday when the Bulldogs face No. 16 Kentucky in Lexington. The New Year’s Eve matchup will tip at 6:00 pm on ESPN.

The Bulldogs’ next home outing is a week from Wednesday when Georgia hosts Ole Miss at Stegeman Coliseum at 6:30 p.m., the first of two home games next week. Georgia also will entertain Alabama on Saturday, Jan. 6 at noon.

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