CARROLLTON, Ga. - Paul Turner and Marquill Smith combined for 28 second half points as the UWG men’s basketball team powered past West Alabama in Gulf South Conference action winning 81-76 at The Coliseum on Thursday night.
Smith scored 12 of his team-high 21 in the second half, while Turner chipped in with 16 second half points, finishing with 19 on the night.
The Wolves finished the game shooting 43.9 percent but was 5-of-13 from three-point range including three from Marquill Smith. At the free-throw line, the Wolves were 15-of-19 which was crucial to the victory as West Alabama finished the night going 4-of-10 from the charity stripe.
West Alabama led the majority of the first half, and opened the game on a 12-1 run. Karlos Odum got an offensive rebound and a put back for the field goal of the game for the Wolves.
The Wolves then went to work chipping away at the UWA lead. Greg James cut the deficit to three and got the fans in The Coliseum on their feet in the process with his slam dunk at the 9:46 mark of the opening half.
By the final media timeout of the half, the Wolves were within one, and then took their first lead of the game on a layup from Karlos Odum with 2:06 to play. The Tigers ended the first half on a 5-0 run, and took the 42-38 lead into the halftime break.
The Tigers jumped out to a seven point lead right out of the break, scoring on back-to-back possessions to open the period. West Alabama stretched the lead to double-figures at 11 midway through the second half before West Georgia responded with 11 unanswered points to tie things up at 62-62 with 7:06 remaining.
Marquill Smith gave the Wolves the lead at the 4:36 mark with the dunk of the year, making it 68-66, and it was a lead the Wolves would never relinquish. The Tigers would tie things up three other times, but the Wolves kept making crucial basket after crucial basket, none bigger than William Sides’ three-pointer with 50 seconds left that made it an eight point game and put it out of reach for good.
Three other Wolves found double figures along with Smith and Turner as Odum had 11 while William Sides and Greg James each scored 10.
The Wolves are now 9-10 overall and 4-8 in the GSC. The Tigers drop to 9-10 overall and suffer just their fourth league loss and sit at 4-8.
West Georgia is back in action on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. hosting GSC newcomer Montevallo.