CARROLLTON, Ga. - West Georgia battled throughout the game against the Benedict Tigers in the first road contest of the 2019-20 season and Kovi Tate had another outstanding performance in leading the Wolves to a 74-69 victory in Columbia, SC.
Tate followed his 27-point performance against Palm Beach Atlantic last Saturday with a 26-point night against the Tigers. The junior battled against a 6-8 and 6-10 counterpart for Benedict, winning the battle throughout the evening and picking up his second double-double of the season with 10 rebounds to go along with 26 points. Kadeim Jones put in 20 points on the night with a 4-for-5 shooting night from three-point range. Jones has now scored at least 20 points in each of the first three games of the year.
The Wolves came out of the gate flying in the first half, building a 27-16 lead in the first eight minutes of the contest. The Wolves went cold over the next five minutes, as Benedict cut into the UWG lead with a 5-0 run. Kovi Tate broke the cold streak with a pair of free-throws to put the Wolves up by a 29-23 score with just under six minutes left in the first half. The Tigers continued their run, and with just under a minute left in the opening half, a dunk from Benedict put them up by a 34-33 count.
Seconds later, Oronte' Anderson hit a pair of free-throws, then a floater gave the Wolves a 37-36 lead heading into the locker room at the break.
Out of the halftime break, the Tigers stayed hot, scoring five consecutive points to take a 41-37 lead early in the second half, but the Wolves went on a 13-7 run to take a 50-48 lead midway through the second half. The two teams exchanged leads four times over the next three minutes, and with just under eight minutes to play in the half, a bucket from the Tigers put Benedict up by a 60-58 score.
Going up against a bigger front line, Tate was a one-man wrecking crew in the final 10 minutes of the game, scoring on back-to-back possessions off of an offensive rebound to give the Wolves a 62-60 advantage with just over five minutes left in the game. Kadeim Jones took over at that point, scoring five-straight for the Wolves, including a three-pointer that put West Georgia up 67-61 with just over three minutes left in the contest.
Benedict was not going down without a fight, as the Tigers hit a three on back-to-back possessions to tie the contest at 67 with just over a minute remaining. Tate took over again in the final minute, pulling down a rebound on the defensive side, drawing a foul. He hit both free-throws, then picked up another follow on an offensive rebound for his 26th point and a 71-67 lead for the Wolves.
Over the final minute, West Georgia hit their free-throws and kept the Tigers off the scoreboard, as the Wolves took their first victory of the season. Setih Brown-Carter was the third UWG player in double-figures, scoring 11 on the night and Oronte' Anderson had seven assists in the win.
The win moves the Wolves to 1-2 on the year while Benedict falls to 1-2 with the loss. West Georgia will be back in action on Saturday afternoon in Morrow, Ga., taking on the Clayton State Lakers in non-conference action at 4:00 p.m.
Inside the Stat Sheet
West Georgia forced 20 turnovers on the night and had just nine ... Oronte' Anderson has had at least seven assists in two of the three games thus far ... eight of the 10 players who saw action for West Georgia had at least one assist ...