CARROLLTON, Ga. - The tale of two halves that happened on Saturday evening at The Coliseum went the way of the wolf, as the West Georgia Wolves shot 75 percent from the field in the second half to take down the Augusta Jaguars 92-89 in the 2017-18 home opener.
Junior Marquill Smith had another outstanding night, scoring at least 20 points for the third straight game in leading the Wolves to the victory. The junior scored 18 of his game-high 33 points in the second half as West Georgia exploded for 60 points in the period, erasing a nine-point halftime deficit and moving to 3-0 on the season thus far.
The first half was a different story for the Wolves, as the two teams battled back-and-forth for the first 16 minutes of the game, and with 4:32 left in the first half, Smith hit a free-throw that tied the contest at 30-30. Augusta then went on an 11-2 run to close the half, taking a 42-31 lead in the locker room at the break.
That run continued into the second half, as the Jaguars' lead reached 12 less than a minute into the second half after a three-pointer by Mikkel Kolstad. Smith responded with a trey of his own, but an Aaron Byrd three-pointer again put the Jags up by 12 with 18:47 left in the game.
The Wolves chipped away at the AU lead over the next 10 minutes, until a three-pointer from William Sides gave West Georgia their first lead of the second half at 67-65 with 8:28 left in the contest. The see-saw battle returned over the next three minutes until a three-pointer from freshman Greg James gave West Georgia a 72-71 lead with 5:32 remaining. At that point, Augusta would not see the lead again.
In the final minute of the game, the Wolves held off a furious charge by the Jaguas, needing a three-pointer from Sides, a layup from Steven Ross and a pair of free-throws from Smith to ice the win.
Smith led five Wolves in double-figures on the night with 33 points and was also tied with Vinko Glavan with seven rebounds in the contest. Aren Ulmer had 14 points and eight assists, followed by Sides with 13. Freshmen Steven Ross and Greg James each added 10 points for the cause the game.
West Georgia will be on the road next week, taking on Morehouse in Atlanta on Tuesday evening, followed by a matchup with Johnson C. Smith next Saturday in Charlotte, NC.