CARROLLTON, Ga. - December 17 was the last time that the West Georgia Wolves played against intercollegiate basketball competition and a 16-day layoff many times brings a slow start. Not so for head coach Dave Moore and his Wolves on Wednesday night at The Coliseum, as West Georgia built a 47-29 first-half lead en route to an 86-55 win over Oakwood.
The game was the final non-conference tilt for the Wolves, and Marquill Smith picked up where he left off in Livingston, Ala. on December 17. On that night, Smith scored 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading West Georgia to victory. Wednesday against Oakwood, Smith poured in 21 points and pulled 11 rebounds in the first half to lead the Wolves to the eighth victory this season and an 8-4 record overall on the year.
West Georgia opened the game on an 8-0 run with Smith scoring five of those points for the Wolves. Oakwood would then chip away at the slim advantage, cutting it down to two at the 12:57 mark of the half. By the midway point of the opening period, the Wolves had stretched the lead back to double-digits at 23-13.
Smith, who scored 21 points and hit four three-pointers in the first half, completed a double-double early in the game with 11 first-half rebounds and helped UWG to a 23-point halftime advantage.
A 6-0 run early in the second half stretched UWG’s lead to 24 by the under-16 media timeout. The Ambassadors cut it under 20 by the 8-minute mark as West Georgia led 62-44. The Wolves, who went deep down the bench the game’s end had their largest lead of 33 at the 1:38 mark of the second half.
Smith ended the game with 21 points and 15 rebounds, marking the fourth time in the past five games where the senior has had a double-double. He has five double-doubles this season. Freshmen Jared Simmons and Michael Zabetakis also scored in double-figures, with Simmons producing another career-high with 20 points while Zabetakis added 10.
Freshmen Taj Fraley had nine points and eight rebounds in the contest while LaPerion Perry had four points and seven assists. The Wolves will be back in action on Saturday, taking on the Mississippi College Choctaws in Gulf South Conference action at The Coliseum.