CARROLLTON, Ga. - Wednesday night's 2017-18 home finale for the West Georgia Wolves was a dogfight for 35 minutes, but in the end, a 40-point eruption from Marquill Smith propelled the Wolves to a 106-97 victory over the Shorter Hawks at The Coliseum.
Smith and fellow junior swingman Paul Turner scored 69 of the Wolves 106 points in the game Wednesday evening, combining to shoot 23-of-37 from the field to lead the offensive attack for the Wolves. Smith was especially good from the three-point line, going 5-for-11 from long-distance. Junior Aren Ulmer was the only other UWG player in double-figures on the night, netting 15 with four assists and two steals.
This one was a back-and-forth affair from the outset, as neither team led by more than six points in the opening period, and the first half featured two ties and 10 lead changes between the two squads. When the dust settled at halftime, the Wolves held a 42-38 advantage heading into the locker room. Turner, who scored 29 overall on the night, was relatively silent in the first half, scoring just two points. Smith was on fire in both halves, scoring 22 in the first and then 18 in the second.
Early in the second half, the Hawks took a quick lead, and then spent the next seven minutes building an 11-point advantage over the Wolves. West Georgia used just three minutes to whittle the lead back down to two, trailing by a slip 72-70 margin with just over nine minutes to play in the game. But just when it looked as if UWG would push back into the lead, Shorter reeled off a 7-2 run, leading 79-72 with 8:09 left in the contest.
At the 5:00 mark, a layup from Smith gave the Wolves their first lead since halftime at 86-85, but Shorter came right back and answered with a layup to push back into the lead at 87-86. From then on, West Georgia would outscore Shorter 19-11 over the final four minutes of the contest to take the victory and move to 7-11 in conference play and 12-13 overall.
West Georgia will be back in action on Saturday, taking on West Alabama in more Gulf South Conference action on the road. First tip for the contest will be at approximately 5 p.m. in Livingston, Ala.