The Wolves (1-2) connected on just 8-of-30 attempts from the field, including a 1-of-12 clip from downtown, during the opening half, as the Lakers (2-0) controlled the first 20 minutes of play.
West Georgia rallied back against the in-state rival after the half, making good on 11-of-27 attempts from the floor to take it down to the wire before coming up just short.
UWG sophomore guard Taylor Cochran led all scorers with 17 points and four steals, while Quincy Hill was the only other West Georgia player to reach double-figures offensively, finishing with 11 points. Brett Seljak just missed out on a double-double, finishing with nine points and eight rebounds.
Clayton State had four players reach double figures, led by Charles Shedrick with 16 points and eight rebounds. Juron Dobbs recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.
The Wolves return home to play host to Columbus State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.