CARROLLTON, Ga. - At nearly every point on Tuesday evening at The Coliseum, when it looked as if the West Georgia Wolves would pull away from Auburn Montgomery, the Warhawks would hit a few shots and make it a game again. That was the way it was for the entire night, but a huge baseline runner from Paul Turner with 38 seconds remaining was the final lead change in the Wolves' 103-100 Gulf South Conference victory ..
Turner was the ringleader of a trio of terror for the AUM defense on Tuesday, as he, William Sides and Marquill Smith combined for 80 of the Wolves' 103 points in the contest. The junior scored 32 points to lead the way, including four of the final seven points of the game for West Georgia. It was the second time this season that Turner has scored at least 30 points in a game for the Wolves.
The first half was a track meet, as the two teams combined for 54 points in the first 10 minutes of the contest, but at that point, neither team had the upper hand, as the score was 27-27. The Wolves and Warhawks went back-and-forth throughout the half, as the game was tied nine times and the lead changed hands 10 times.
But, with the game tied at 48 in the final minute of the opening period, freshman Glenn Robinson buried a three-pointer from the corner to give the Wolves a three-point lead. Twenty-four seconds later, Turner hit a driving layup in transition, giving West Georgia a 53-48 cushion heading into the locker room at the break.
The back-and-forth nature of the contest continued over the first 10 minutes of the second half, as the Wolves pushed their advantage out to eight points twice in that span. But each time, the Warhawks would cut the lead back to a manageable amount. Then, after another push from the Wolves, Smith gave West Georgia an 83-70 lead with a pair of free-throws with 7:45 left in the game.
That would be the largest lead of the contest, and it would only go back to double-digits one more time over the final five minutes of the contest, setting up the thrilling conclusion. After Turner's runner, AUM missed a three-pointer and Karlos Odum ripped the rebound, then buried two free-throws to finish out the scoring on the night.
In addition to Turner's 32 to lead the scoring, Smith added 25 and Sides had 23. Those three and junior point guard Aren Ulmer each had three assists to tie for the team lead. Odum added nine points and eight rebounds as well.
West Georgia moves to 7-7 on the year and 2-5 in Gulf South Conference play, while AUM drops to 6-8 overall and 2-8 in Gulf South Conference play. The Wolves remain at home on Saturday for a doubleheader with North Alabama. The Gulf South Conference battle will begin for the women at 2 p.m., with the men scheduled for 4 p.m.