West Georgia Tech overcame a nine-point deficit with seven minutes remaining to knock off Snead State (Ala.) Community College 65-62 in men’s basketball action Friday night in Carrollton.

West Georgia Tech had steals on two-consecutive defensive possessions in the final minute. The first, with :37 seconds left and the score tied at 60-60, led to a Devante Orebeau layup to put the Knights up 62-60.

On the ensuing Snead State possession Kishon Rogers stole the ball and was fouled. He made both free throws to make the score 64-60.

After a Snead State bucket with :14 seconds left brought them to within two, at 64-62, WGTC inbounded the ball and drove the length of the court before drawing a foul with :08 left.

West Georgia Tech made the first free throw but missed the second, setting up a final opportunity for Snead State to tie the game.

They got a good look, but a three-pointer missed, ending the game at 65-62.

“This was a big win for us against a good Division-1 basketball team,” said WGTC head coach Niki Okolovitch. “This team has really gelled here in the second half of the season, a lot quicker than I thought they would. With this being our first game since the holiday break, we took a lot of time to practice and I think that has helped us tremendously. I’m excited to see what we can do the rest of the year.”

Snead State played a tenacious zone defense the entire night forcing WGTC to shoot just 37 percent (25-of-66). The Knights held Snead State to 43-percent shooting.

Five players scored in double-figures for West Georgia Tech, led by a 19-point effort from Jalen Bracey. Martez Winston added 12 and Devante Orebeau, Xavier Jennings and Jon Perry each scored 10.

Bracey scored back-to-back three pointers around the 2-minute mark which turned a two-point deficit, at 56-54, into a 60-58 lead.

West Georgia Tech played less than 24 hours later against a bigger and stronger Lawson State team, which came in with a 14-1 record. The Knights dropped that game, 78-61. They boys are now 4-12 on the season.

The West Georgia Tech men embark on a four-game road swing starting Wednesday night at Brewton-Parker, tipping at 7:30 p.m. The Knights will play at Chattahoochee Valley (Ala.) on Saturday.

GIRLS

The West Georgia Tech Golden Knights women’s basketball team won another game over an NJCAA Division-1 opponent Friday night as they knocked off Snead State (Ala.) 68-53. The game was played at Oak Mountain Academy in Carrollton.

The Golden Knights are now 11-7 overall, while Snead State dropped to 3-12.

West Georgia Tech completes the season sweep of the alma mater of its head coach, Kenny Edwards, having won 68-63 in an earlier matchup on November 23.

Edwards played basketball at Snead State from 1997-99.

“I’m very proud of these girls, not just with the outcome of the game but with their overall effort,” Edwards said. “We came out a little sluggish in the first half but I think our effort and overall play in the second half was as good as we have had all year. We have beaten some really good teams, some very well-coached teams.”

West Georgia Tech has won eight games against NJCAA Division-1 level competition.

Current NJCAA Division III Women’s Basketball National Player of the Week Kadriana Howard led three Golden Knights in double-figures with 18 points on 9-of-19 shooting.

Kelsey Walthall added 16 and Tattyanna Laroque scored 11 for the Golden Knights.

Ajee Smith led Snead State with 12 points.

The game was mostly a tight affair in the first half, with West Georgia Tech going on a 9-4 run to close the half to stretch its lead to nine at halftime, 39-30.

The lead was 20 by the 13:32-mark in the second half, 57-37.

West Georgia Tech’s largest lead was 22, at 66-44 with 3:27 remaining.

WGTC forced 26 Snead State turnovers, which led to 20 points.

Both teams were horrendous from the free-throw line, with Snead State connecting on just 41 percent (14-of-34) while WGTC made 15-of-29.

West Georgia Tech is off to its best start in school history. Winners of three-straight games, they will return to the hardwood next Wednesday when they travel to Mt. Vernon, Ga. to take on the Brewton Parker junior varsity squad at 5 p.m.