By West Georgia Sports

The UWG women’s basketball team pushed the number four team in America to the brink on Tuesday night, falling to North Georgia 82-79 in overtime in the home opener at The Coliseum.

In a game that featured 14 lead changes and 16 ties, the Wolves (1-2) came up just short in their first home action of the season. It was an extremely tight game for all 45 minutes, with neither team leading by more than eight points.

West Georgia got another big performance from Siera Carter, as she scored 20 points in the loss, giving her three straight 20-point performances to begin the season. Senior Zaria Bankston also scored 20 points on Tuesday.

Right out of the gate, West Georgia went toe-to-toe with the Nighthawks (6-0), answering every UNG basket with a score of their own, but trailed 15-14 after the opening quarter.

With 3:19 left in the second quarter, UNG had gotten up by five points, but Mariah Holder would bury three pointers from the corner on back-to-back possessions to send the game to the halftime break deadlocked at 32-32.

There were five lead changes in the third quarter alone with UWG leading by as much as six in the period.

Four minutes into the final quarter, UWG had built their biggest lead of the game at eight points with the score at 58-50. With 2:59 remaining, West Georgia led by six, and North Georgia went on a 5-0 run to cut it to one. Carter then hit a jumper with 58 seconds left to give UWG the three-point lead. North Georgia got an and-one on the ensuing possession to tie it up.

Each team had chances to take the lead or win in the final seconds, but neither team was successful, sending UWG into their second consecutive overtime game.

In OT, the Nighthawks went to their best player, Julianne Sutton who had eight of her 17 points in the overtime period as UNG snuck out of The Coliseum with a win.

West Georgia had five in double figures with 20 each from Carter and Banskton and Mariah Holder adding 14. Junior Jaylin Austin had a solid game all around with 13 points and eight rebounds, as did Ranajah Verdell. The freshman had career-highs in points with 10 and rebounds with nine.

Valencia Carroll led with six assists while Carter’s five steals led the Wolves.

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