CARROLLTON, Ga. - A 14-7 run in the overtime period on Saturday afternoon powered the West Georgia Wolves to their fifth win of the season, as the Wolves closed out the 2017 calendar year with a 93-86 victory over the Livingstone Blue Bears at The Coliseum.
Junior Paul Turner, playing in his third game in a West Georgia uniform, scored an individual high for the Wolves in the contest, hitting for 34 points to lead the Wolves in the victory. The swingman was 11-for-15 from the field in the contest and 10-for-12 from the free-throw line. Junior Marquill Smith also had another big game, picking up his fourth double-double of the year with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolves.
The first half was a game of runs for both teams,w ith the Wolves striking first. With 15:47 left in the opening half, a jumper from Turner broke a 6-6 tie and launched the first run of the game. Just over five minutes later, Turner hit a layup on a fast break to give the Wolves a 22-12 lead to cap a 16-6 run. West Georgia was powerful in transition in the first half, outscoring the Blue Bears 12-4 in transition.
But despite the Wolves winning the transition game in the first half, Livingstone took just two minutes to cut into that lead, tying the game on a three-pointer from Rashard Todd with 8:22 left in the first half, capping a 10-0 run to tie the game at 22-22. The next four minutes were all West Georgia, as the Wolves went on a 12-0 run, including five points from Turner to take a 34-22 lead with 4:17 left in the first half. That wasn't the final run of the half, however, as Livingstone closed the period with a 10-4 run and the two teams went into the locker room with West Georgia leading 36-32.
As many runs as were in the first half, the second half was the complete opposite, as the Wolves led by as many as seven points in the period, but the two teams battled back-and-forth over the final 10 minutes of the game.with just over a minute remaining in the game, a Samuel McClendon tip-in gave the Blue Bears a 79-76 advantage, but a three-pointer from Turner just 13 seconds later tied the contest for the eighth time in the game. Neither team could score again in regulation, forcing the overtime period.
Overtime was similar to the end of regulation, with neither team taking a large lead until the final minute. With just under a minute remaining, Livingstone was called for a foul, followed by a technical foul, which allowed the Wolves to put the lead out to six at 90-84. That would be as close as the Blue Bears would get, as the Wolves hit free-throws in that final minute to salt the game away.
In addition to Turner and Smith with the big games, Karlos Odum also had 10 oiints in the contest, and the junior forward also had five blocks in the game. The fourth double-figure scorer was true freshman Laperion Perry, who scored 11 points in just his second collegiate game.
The win moves West Georgia to 5-5 on the year, and the Wolves return to Gulf South Conference action on Tuesday, taking on the Union Bulldogs in Jackson, Tenn. at 9:00 p.m.