CARROLLTON, Ga. – The West Georgia Wolves opened up the 2017-18 season on Saturday evening with an 86-79 victory over the Miles Golden Bears in the Gulf South Conference/Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Challenge in Cleveland, Tenn.
The new-look Wolves trailed briefly in the contest, led by junior Marquill Smith, who scored 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds in his first game in a West Georgia uniform.
How It Happened
Just seconds into the contest, Smith scored the first bucket of the season for the Wolves after West Georgia won the tip. He powered UWG to a 30-17 lead in the first 12 minutes of the contest, scoring 11 points in that span.
The Wolves were on fire from the field early in the game, shooting 57 percent from the floor, but Miles started to climb back into the contest, cutting the UWG advantage to 37-29 with just over two minutes left in the first half.
West Georgia would keep the lead in that same spot for the remainder of the first half, going into the locker room at the break leading 42-35. The Wolves were 7-for-18 from three-point range in the opening half, and Smith had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Miles opened the second half with a flurry of scoring, going on a 10-2 run in the first three minutes of the period and taking a 45-44 lead. Smith took over at that point, powering the Wolves back into the lead with a 54-51 lead with 14 minutes left in the game, as Smith became the first 20-point scorer of the year. West Georgia led by as many as 11 in the final 20 minutes of the contest and Miles cut the lead to five once late in the game, but William Sides hit four free-throws in the final minute to secure the victory.
º Marquill Smith - 27 points, 9 rebounds
º Greg James – 13 points
º William Sides – 12 points
º Jack Shaughnessy – 11 points
West Georgia moves to 1-0 on the young season, while Miles falls to 0-1. The GSC was 2-0 in the GSC/SIAC Challenge on the opening day of the 2017-18 campaign, as Lee beat Tuskegee in the first game of the afternoon.
The Wolves face-off with Tuskegee at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon from Cleveland, Tenn. in the final game of the weekend for both teams.