CARROLLTON, Ga. - The West Georgia Wolves moved to 4-1 in Gulf South Conference play on Saturday afternoon at The Coliseum, using solid defense and another 20-point effort from Marquill Smith to take a 72-59 victory over the Mississippi College Choctaws.
The Wolves limited the Choctaws to just 1-of-15 from three-point range in the contest and shot 43 percent from the field in the victory. Senior guard Marquill Smith scored 20 points to run his streak to 13-straight games with 20 points or more.
It was a tough start to the game as West Georgia struggled offensively in the first half, shooting just 35.1 percent from the field and only 2-of-13 from behind the arc. Defensively, however, the Wolves were solid and held the Choctaws to just 33 points in the opening half.
Freshman Jared Simmons, who hit one of UWG’s two three-pointers in the half, led the Wolves offense in the first half with nine points, as UWG trailed the Choctaws 33-28 at the halftime break.
West Georgia quickly erased the halftime deficit as a four-point play from Marquill Smith and back-to-back layups from Michael Zabetakis gave West Georgia the 36-35 lead early in the half.
By the 14-minute mark of the second half, West Georgia had stretched their lead out to seven at 46-39. A Jared Simmons three-pointer that stretched the lead to double-figures for the first time came at the 8:30 mark as UWG went up 55-45.
Over the final eight minutes, West Georgia never let the lead get below eight and led by as much as 15. When the final horn sounded, the Wolves completed a comeback from a seven-point halftime deficit, holding MC to 26 points in the second half while shooting the ball over 50 percent from the field in the second half.
Four Wolves scored in double-figures, led by Smith with 20 points and 11 rebounds, marking his sixth double-double of the year and fifth in the last six games. Jared Simmons came off the bench for 15 points, followed by Gerald Blount with 12 and Michael Zabetakis with 11.
West Georgia will return to the court at The Coliseum on Monday evening, taking on the Delta State Statesmen in doubleheader action.