Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

March 9, 2013

Blazers keep season alive, beat Delta State

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Valdosta State used a 23-4 advantage in points from the free throw line to defeat Delta State 54-49 in the quarterfinals of the Gulf South Conference Tournament at the Pete Hanna Center on the campus of Samford University Friday evening.

With the victory, Valdosta State (18-9) will face top-seeded Alabama-Huntsville, the nation’s sixth-ranked team, in the conference semifinals today at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.  

The Blazers led for much of the first five minutes of the game before Delta State, which ended its season at 11-16, used a 10-2 run to grab the lead for the remainder of the half.

As it would for most of the night, Valdosta State struggled shooting during the Statesmen run as VSU missed all three of its field goal attempts, with the only Blazer points during the run coming on a pair of Josh Sparks free throws.

The Delta State lead continued to grow over the next five minutes, as it built a 20-11 lead 12 minutes into the game, before the Blazers began a comeback bid.

Sparks scored on back-to-back possessions to open the Blazer spurt before Patrick Diop pulled VSU to within four points. After a pair of baskets by DSU, David Murray and Shaquille Harris hit back-to-back three-pointers to close the Blazers to within a basket and Sparks closed the first half scoring with a pair of free throws that cut the VSU deficit to 26-25 at the intermission.

Valdosta State scored three of the first five points of the second half to even the contest, only to have the Statesmen respond to score 12 of the next 17 points to build a 40-33 lead with 11:25 to go in the game.

Neither team scored for the next four minutes before James Anacreon and Diop hit two free throws each to close VSU to within three points. Mike Weems connected on a basket for DSU to once again stretch the Statesmen lead to five, but Diop answered with a three-pointer and Sparks added two more free throws to even the contest at 42-42 with 4:19 remaining in the game.

Delta State responded with the next two baskets to once again take the lead, but those would be the final Statesmen points until Cornell Knight hit a three-pointer with four seconds remaining in the game.

Valdosta State reeled off 12 straight points during the Delta State’s scoreless drought, including seven points from the free throw line.

Sparks led all scorers with 21 points and tied for a game-high 11 rebounds, his fifth double-double of the season. He also had blocked four shots. Diop tallied his first career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

VSU made just 13 of its 47 shots in the game to shoot just 27.7 percent from the floor, but owned a 40-37 advantage in rebounding.

Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Albritton.JPG VSU’s Albritton advances to finals of Elite 89 contest

    Another round, another first-place finish for Valdosta State’s Courtney Albritton.
    Albritton, the Blazers’ junior softball standout, was the leading vote-getter in the semifinal round of the NCAA’s Favorite Elite 89 winner contest with 1,483 votes in the two-day semifinal round that included 30 athletes. In the week-long first round, Albritton racked up 1,971 votes to lead the 89-person field.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Albritton in first place after opening round of Elite 89 voting

    July 14, 2014

  • Justin_Roper.JPG Roper to coach Blazers’ QBs

    Valdosta State has added an assistant coach to its staff, but it isn’t to fill Seth Wallace’s role.
    Former Oregon quarterback and University of Findlay running backs coach Justin Roper has been hired as the Blazers’ quarterbacks coach.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1966690_10201768896480524_387489323_n.jpg Dominique Wheeler showing confidence as NFL rookie

    Dominique Wheeler slowly made a name for himself during his four-year career as a Valdosta State Blazer. Playing at the cornerback position, Wheeler had to wait his turn to start at the position. However by the time he ended his senior year, he had played in 45 games, including nine starts his senior season.

    July 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lawrence Virgil pic Lawrence Virgil working to make the Saints final roster

    With college and the Valdosta State football team behind him, Brooks County’s own Lawrence Virgil is working hard to make a name for himself in the National Football League.

    July 6, 2014 2 Photos

  • Saints Football_Loga.jpg Making the Cut

    A star player for the Valdosta State Blazers, Seantavius Jones has joined the esteemed ranks of the National Football League. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 210 pounds, Jones has the perfect frame to be a successful NFL wide receiver.

    July 1, 2014 2 Photos

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: