CARROLLTON, Ga. - After a week with lost late leads against nationally ranked opponents, the West Georgia Wolves pulled themselves together Tuesday evening, avoiding another late lead loss with a 75-73 victory over the Morehouse Maroon Tigers at Forbes Arena in Atlanta.
Michael Zabetakis has 13 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals to lead the UWG effort in the evening. He was one of four West Georgia players to score in double-figures, with that group led by Kovi Tate with 17 points and eight rebounds. Oronte’ Anderson added 16 and Seth Brown-Carter 15 to round out the double-digit scoring.
West Georgia came out with a vengeance on Tuesday evening, scoring the first eight points of the game and building a 15-2 lead in the first four minutes. Seth Brown-Carter led the way with five points for the Wolves in that span.
Over the next three minutes, Oronte’ Anderson took off as the Wolves increased the advantage to 21-5 with 13 minutes left in the opening period. Over the next five minutes, Morehouse went on a 14-3 run to cut the UWG lead to 24-19 with 8:24 left in the half. Seconds later, a three-pointer from Deng Nhial pushes the West Georgia lead back out to eight points at 27-19.
Over the final eight minutes of the period , the two teams went back-and-forth with the Wolves staying no less than four points ahead. With 15 seconds left before the half, Anderson buried a jumper that put the Wolves up 40-34, and that’s where the lead stayed heading into the break.
Anderson led the Wolves with 14 points, and the Wolves were 9-of-12 from the free-throw line. Morehouse was 14-of-18 from the line in the opening half.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Morehouse went on a 13-5 run, taking their first lead of the contest on a layup to make it 43-42 with 16:14 left in the game. The Wolves fought back, tying the game at 49-49 on a dunk from Kovi Tate with 13:29 left.
Tate was big for the Wolves in the second half. The McDonough native picked up two quick fouls early in the game and was forced to sit for much of the first half. He worked to make up for lost time, scoring six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, and a pair of Tate free-throws gave UWG a slim 55-53 advantage with 10:25 left in the game.
The next four minutes was pivotal in the game, as the Wolves went on a 10-6 run, fueled by sophomore guard Michael Zabetakis, who score four of the 14 points in that span. A jumper from Seth Brown-Carter with 6:13 left in the game gave the Wolves four players in double-figures and a 65-59 lead in the game. Two minutes later, with the UWG defense holding strong, Tate slammed home a dunk to give the Wolves a 10-point lead at 69-59 with 4:22 left.
After that dunk, the Maroon Tigers woke up, going on an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to take a 70-69 lead with 1:39 left on the clock. Tate the hit a free-throw to tie it but missed the second attempt. Zabetakis came down with a huge offensive rebound, the just seconds later, Tate hit another layup to put the Wolves up 72-70. In the final minute, UWG hit three free-throws to take the game by a 75-73 count.
West Georgia is now 2-5 on the year and Morehouse falls to 2-3. The Wolves will be back on the road after the holiday weekend, taking on Columbus State on Monday evening.