CARROLLTON, Ga. – West Georgia’s men’s basketball program went to Mississippi needing nothing but wins in order to take a step toward the Gulf South Conference tournament. The Wolves swept the weekend, beating Mississippi College 97-79 on Saturday evening in Clinton, Miss.
One of the biggest factors for the Wolves’ success this weekend was from three-point range, as West Georgia shot better than 40 percent from long range against both Mississippi College and Delta State. Throughout the year, the Wolves have struggled from the three-point line, shooting less than 40 percent in nearly 75 percent of their games.
Paul Turner came out on fire in this one, scoring the first seven points of the game for West Georgia in the first two minutes. But the Wolves went cold over the next two minutes, as Mississippi College went on a 4-0 run to take an 8-7 lead at the first media timeout of the contest. For the first 13 minutes of the first half in the contest, the West Georgia Wolves shot just 33 percent from the field, trailing Mississippi College by a 24-22 score with just over seven minutes left in the period.
Freshman Glenn Robinson buried a three-pointer out of the third media timeout of the game and the Wolves were off and running. Over the next four minutes, the Wolves outscored the Choctaws by a 13-4 count, and with three minutes left in the half, West Georgia held a 35-28 lead over Mississippi College.
In the final three minutes of the half, the Choctaws turned the tables on the Wolves, outscoring UWG 7-4 in that span, as West Georgia went into the locker room at the break with a 39-35 advantage.
Turner led West Georgia with 13 points in the first half and Marquill Smith added 10 points to give the Wolves two double-figure scorers in the opening period. Aren Ulmer was a major benefactor of those points, dishing out nine assists in the first half.
In the second half, the Wolves came out on fire, led by Smith, who had nine points in the first four minutes of the period. He led West Georgia to a 26-7 run in the first six minutes of the half, as the Wolves led by as many as 23 in that span at 65-42.
After that, West Georgia went cold and the Choctaws used the cold snap to cut the Wolves’ lead to 11 at 69-58, but a three-pointer from Laperion Perry pushed the UWG advantage back to 14 with just over nine minutes left in the game. In the next five minutes of competition, the Choctaws came back, cutting the Wolves’ advantage to 81-75 with just over three minutes left in the contest. But the Wolves scored five straight points to push the lead back out to double-digits at 86-75.
Over the final three minutes of the contest, West Georgia led by as many as 16 points as the Wolves finished out the sixth victory of the season in GSC play. On the year, West Georgia is now 11-11 and 6-9 against league competition.
Smith led all scorers with 31 points and pulled down eight rebounds while Paul Turner had 20 points and seven boards. Karlos Odum added 16 for the cause and Aren Ulmer added 13 assists, one of the biggest nights of distribution on the basketball floor for West Georgia in the last 20 years.
West Georgia returns home on Thursday night with the Valdosta State Blazers set to come to town. The Wolves and Blazers will tip at 7:30 p.m., or approximately 25 minutes after the conclusion of the women’s game.