VALDOSTA — Fresh off its second Gulf South Conference victory of the year, Valdosta State looks for conference win number three as the Blazers host Alabama-Huntsville at The Complex on Monday, January 6. The VSU and UAH women will play at 5 p.m. followed by the men's game, which is scheduled for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
The Blazers are led by junior guard Jalen Crawford, who scored 25 points and had four assists against West Alabama on Saturday. Crawford now averages 15.6 points per game and is one of five Blazers averaging in double figures for points. David Murray continues to average a double-double as he adds 10.9 points and 11.0 rebounds a contest, while Blake Justice pours in 14.6 points, Jeremy McKay 14.0 and Jarod Leonard 10.7.
Valdosta State averages 85.8 points per game, which ranks second-best in the Gulf South Conference, and allows 76.2 points an outing. The Blazers shoot 44.1 percent from the floor and out-rebounds foes by an average of 43.2 per game to 40.8.
Scouting the Chargers
Under long-time head coach Lennie Acuff, Alabama-Huntsville has started the year 6-5, including a 2-2 record in Gulf South Conference play. UAH faced a challenging start to the year as it dropped a 66-60 exhibition game to Vanderbilt before facing fellow Division I member Alabama A&M eight days later, a game the Chargers dropped 79-73. Alabama-Huntsville rebounded from that loss to win four of its next five, but have dropped its last two games to Delta State and West Florida.
UAH currently has three players averaging double figures in points, led by sophomore guard Wayne Dedrick, who leads the Gulf South Conference at 20.5. Junior guard Ronnie Mack adds 16.0 points an outing while senior forward Conner Blasi scores 10.1. Meanwhile, sophomore guard Greg Gardner has dished out 76 assists in the Chargers' 11 games.
UAH shoots 47.4 percent from the floor and are a good free throw shooting squad as Alabama-Huntsville shoots 76.0 percent from the charity stripe as a squad. The Chargers distribute the ball well in their Princeton style offense as they have already recorded 193 assists on the year.
A Quick Look at the GSC
Valdosta State currently stands third in the Gulf South Conference with a 2-1 record, just half a game behind both Delta State and West Georgia, who are 3-1 in league action. Lee is also 2-1 in league play while North Alabama, Alabama-Huntsville and West Alabama are tied for fifth at 2-2. Union and West Florida follow at 1-2 while Shorter and Christian Brothers are 1-3.