CARROLLTON, Ga. - For the second-straight game, the West Georgia Wolves led a top-12 team for the bulk of the game, but a late surge from #11 Alabama Huntsville at Spragins Hall on Saturday afternoon forced overtime in a 96-83 victory for the Chargers in the 2019-20 Gulf South Conference opener for both teams.
The Wolves took the lead midway through the first half and held it until less than two minutes were left in the contest, but once the lead was on the side of the Chargers, UAH pushed ahead with a 17-point overtime period.
Alabama Huntsville came out of the gate firing on all cylinders, building a 14-7 lead in the first four minutes of the contest. But at that point, Kovi Tate and the Wolves went to work, clawing their way back to within two points of the 11th-ranked Chargers at 17-15 with just over 13 minutes left in the first half. At that point, Tate had already reached double-figures, leading the Wolves with 10 points in the first seven minutes of the contest.
Over the next five minutes, the offense on both sides of the floor exploded, as UAH built a slightly bigger lead with 8:32 left in the opening period. At that point, the Chargers held a 33-29 advantage. The Wolves went on a 7-0 run at that point, and with 6:22 left in the first half, West Georgia took their first lead of the match on a jumper from Seth Brown-Carter at 34-33. The Wolves continued to press, building a seven-point advantage at 43-36 with 3:30 left in the half.
In the final three minutes of the period, the Wolves' run finished the half at 18-8, giving West Georgia a 50-41 lead heading into the locker room at the break. Seth Brown-Carter led the way with 13 points, followed by Oronte' Anderson with 12 and Tate with 10. The Wolves shot 63 percent from the floor in the opening period while the Chargers shot 42 percent.
The run continued in the second half, as the Wolves came out firing again after the break. Just over two minutes into the second period, Anderson buried a three-pointer that gave the Wolves a 59-47 lead. The run continued, as West Georgia built their biggest lead of the game at 63-47 on a jumper from Anderson with 15:44 left in the game. The Chargers went on a run at that point, cutting into the Wolves lead with a 16-7 run as the Wolves led 70-63 with 6:24 left in the game.
Freshman Rodney Wiley stepped up huge in the next possession, burying a three-pointer to give the Wolves a 73-63 lead with 5:22 left in the contest. The Chargers continued their second-half run, and a jumper from J.J. Kaplan with 1:49 left in the game gave UAH its first lead of the second half at 74-73. The two teams exchanged buckets back-and-forth over the final two minutes, and a layup from Kadeim Jones gave the Wolves a 77-76 lead with 26 seconds left in the game.
After a layup from Kovi Tate with 16 seconds left gave the Wolves a 79-76 lead, it looked as though the Wolves would finish things off, but a three-pointer from Seth Swalve with two seconds left tied it, sending the game to overtime. In the overtime period, the Chargers hit three from beyond the arc, outscoring the Wolves 17-4 to take the victory.
Tate finished with 20 points to lead the UWG scorers on the day, followed by 19 points and eight rebounds from Brown-Carter. Anderson added 17 points and Jones put in 15 points and pulled 10 rebounds for his second-straight double-double. West Georgia falls to 1-5 on the year and 0-1 in conference play while the Chargers move to 4-0 with a 1-0 league record.
The Wolves will be back in action on Tuesday evening in Atlanta, taking on the Morehouse Maroon Tigers in non-conference action.