Valdosta State 83
Shorter men 74
The Blazers held Shorter scoreless for one nearly six-minute stretch of the second half and to just three points during another five-minute stretch after the break.
That stingy defense and a big second half from Blake Justice is what VSU needed to pull away from Shorter and improve to 15-9 overall and 9-9 in the GSC.
When Jordan Jacks scored with 17:04 left, the Hawks had a 51-46 lead on the host Blazers. However, VSU when went on a 9-0 run as Shorter (9-15, 6-12) didn’t score again until Dedric Ware hit a pair of free throws at the 11:16 mark. The Hawks grabbed their final lead on two more Ware free throws with 8:44 left, but managed just a Brandon Pullman 3-pointer in the next five minutes as the Blazers surged ahead 73-63. Pullman and Jacks each finished with 21 points to pace the Hawks.
Leading those streaks was Justice. After scoring five points in the first half, Justice finished with a game-high 23 as he knocked down all nine of his free throws.
VSU took the lead for good on a bucket from Colin Cook, who was one of five Blazers in double figures with 12, with 8:27 left. Also finishing in double figures were David Murray with 13, Jalen Crawford with 11 including a monster putback dunk with 6:45 left, and Jeremy McKay with 11.