The West Georgia Wolves returned to Gulf South Conference play on Tuesday evening at Delay Gymnasium in Jackson, Tenn., falling to the Union Bulldogs in a 100-96 offensive explosion.
The game started off with both teams hot from the field and with Marquill Smith leading the way for the Wolves. Smith had 11 points in the first 10 minutes of the contest, as the two teams were tied at 22-22 with just under 10 minutes left in the first half.
Over the final 10 minutes of the half, the Bulldogs took command, outscoring West Georgia 23-16, taking a 45-38 lead as the teams went into the locker room at the break. Smith and Paul Turner were each in foul trouble in the first half, as Smith had three fouls at the half and Turner had two.
In the second half, Turner hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the period, but the Bulldogs were on fire for the remainder of the opening eight minutes. Union outscored the Wolves 25-18 over that span in the second half, and with 11:44 left in the game, West Georgia trailed 70-56. The Wolves cut the advantage to single digits at the 5:00 mark, but a 3-pointer from Union pushed the Bulldog lead back out to 12 with just over four minutes remaining in the contest.
William Sides, playing in his first game since early December, scored 14 points in the first 16 minutes of the second half, helping the Wolves to stay within striking distance. In the final minutes of the game, the Wolves’ 3-point shooting from Sides and Turner kept the game close, and Turner hit the final shot of the game as time expired to cut the final deficit to four.
Sides led the Wolves with 34 points on the night, hitting 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Turner was 4 for 6 from long range and had 18 while Marquill Smith scored 16 in the contest. Aren Ulmer had another solid night distributing the ball, scoring 7 points and dishing out 10 assists.
The Wolves fall to 5-6 on the season and 1-4 in Gulf South Conference play, while Union moves to 7-5 overall and 1-3 in league play. West Georgia will play on Thursday evening at Christian Brothers at 8 p.m.