Valdosta Daily Times

Blazers Blog

November 17, 2013

Blazer Basketball moves to 3-0

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State Blazers used an explosive second half surge to knock off the Carver Bible Cougars 107-80 on Sunday afternoon.

The Blazers outscored the Cougars 61-38 in second half behind the play of senior guard Jeremy McKay and sophomore Blake Justice.

The duo combined for 33 points in the second half, including seven three-pointers to blow the game open.

Justice scored a season-high 30 points for the Blazers while McKay finished with 23 off the bench. The Blazers finished 15-of-38 from beyond the arc with Justice and McKay combining to shoot 9-of-16.

“We came out and knew the crowd would be a little slim,” Justice said. “I started off hot, they found me. Jeremy was hot in the second half and we found him. We all just came together.”

The Blazers won the rebounding battle 51-49 but struggled to corral defensive boards as the Cougars grabbed 22 offensive rebounds on the night.

“I was a little disappointed that we didn’t do a better job (rebounding) on the defensive end,” Helfer said. “A lot of those rebounds came out to 10 to 12 feet and that’s more of a guard responsibility more so than the big guys.”

David Murray ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds, his third consecutive double-digit effort this season. Murray’s work on the boards earned praise from his coach after the game.

“He’s really expanded his game,” Helfer said. “I haven’t seen a kid make that kind of stride in the ability to rebound as he has done in one year. It’s really been amazing.”

The Blazers’ offense caught fire due in large part to their ball movement. The Blazers had 15 assists on 20 field goals in the second half.

“We worked really hard on if you can get to the paint, to make the read,” Helfer said. “Blake scored, Jeremy scored but I’d rather do it by committee. If somebody in the committee gets hot, we’re going to use that and that’s what we did tonight for both of those guys.”

    Playing its second game in as many nights, the Blazers shot just 39.5 percent from the field and committed six turnovers in the first half.

    The Blazers took a 46-42 lead into halftime after guard Jalen Crawford buried a corner three-pointer at the buzzer.

    Carver Bible shot 41 percent and out-rebounded the Blazers 24-22 but the Blazers countered by making nine of 11 free throws in the opening frame.

    Blake Justice had 17 first-half points for the Blazers while Carver got 10 from guard Julian Brattan.

The first half featured nine lead changes and six ties. The Blazers shuffled their lineup for the first time this season, electing to start forward-center Jarod Leonard over junior Colin Cook.

“I thought (the big men) played great,” Helfer said. “I thought Colin played really well tonight especially offensively around the goal. I thought he affected a lot of shots at the other end. And I think Jarod, just like he always does, got fouled inside and got to the free throw line, so I was happy for those kids.”

The Blazers (3-0) placed five players in double figures behind Justice and McKay as Colin Cook and Larry Stone each had 12 and Jalen Crawford chipped in with 10.

For the Cougars, guard Julian Bratton finished with a 16 points and 10 rebounds. Devante Bagley added 15 points and forward Troy Swanson had 13 for the Cougars who fell to 2-6 on the season.

Though the Blazers are 3-0, Helfer believes his team hasn’t scratched the surface on how good they can be.

“We’ve got to get better,” Helfer said. “We’re nowhere near to being a very good basketball team—I think we’re an OK basketball team. I compliment them on what we’ve accomplished but we’ve got to recognize the minor, little things that end up being big things if we don’t fix them now.”

The Blazers will have Monday off before they resume practice in preparation for Johnson C. Smith who visit The Complex on November 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

1
Text Only
Blazers Blog
  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • 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

Local Sports
Choose your subscription: