Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

January 17, 2014

Blazer basketball gets W over UWG

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State used a strong second half to defeat West Georgia 72-64 in Gulf South Conference men's basketball action at The Coliseum Thursday evening.

Valdosta State (10-3, 4-3) got off to a fast start behind the hot shooting hand of Blake Justice. After the Blazers missed their first two shots of the game, Justice connected on a jumper and a pair of three-pointers for the first eight VSU points of the game. After jumper by Jalen Crawford and a three by Jeremy McKay, Justice added a lay-up to give VSU a 15-9 lead seven minutes into the game.

The hot early shooting, which saw Valdosta State connect on six of its first 12 field goals, quickly evaporated as the Blazers missed their next four shots and scored on just four free throws over the next five minutes to allow West Georgia (10-6, 3-5) to grab a 20-19 advantage.

Crawford eventually ended the shooting slump with a three-pointer with 7:55 to go in the first half and the next three minutes of the game featured three lead changes and four ties before West Georgia finished the half on a 6-3 run to take a 34-31 halftime lead.

Valdosta State opened the second half on a 10-2 run to regain the lead. David Murray opened the frame with a three-pointer before Justice also connected on a trifecta. McKay added a pair of lay-ups, the second coming with 16:34 to go in the game that put the Blazers in front 41-36 and forced a UWG timeout.

However, much like the first half, the hot start was short lived as VSU missed five of its next six field goals and managed just three points over the next six minutes. However, the Wolves weren't much better shooting the ball as they made just two of their seven attempts during the span to allow the Blazers to maintain their lead.

Valdosta State shook off the scoring drought as it made its next six shots to race out to its largest lead of the game at 58-50. Crawford opened the run with a lay-up before, after a Taylor Cochran successful attempt for West Georgia, Justice hit a lay-up and assisted on a Colin Cook basket. UWG kept the game close as it made its next attempts, but Crawford scored on a three-point play and Justice hit a three-pointer to give the Blazers their eight-point lead with 8:14 to go in the contest.

The Blazers made just two field goals the remainder of the game, but hit 10 of 13 free throws to seal the victory.

Justice finished the game with a game-high 25 points as he made eight of his 11 field goals, including four-of-six from beyond the three-point line. McKay added 18 points and Crawford 17 on six-of-14 shooting. Murray registered his 10th game of the year with double-digit rebounds as he pulled down a career-high 14 in the game, including 13 defensive boards, to go along with seven points.

After shooting less an than 33 percent from the field in each of its last three road games, Valdosta State made 23-of-50 against West Georgia to shoot 46.0 percent from the field. VSU was especially successful from the field in the second half as it made 13-of-25 from the field in the frame to shoot 52.0 percent. The Blazers also owned a 44-36 advantage in rebounding.

Phillip Flowers led UWG with 18 points while Zach Taulien added 12. Deonta Stocks, the Wolves' leading scorer entering the contest at 21.7 points per game, scored 10 points, but made just two-of-15 field goal attempts.

UWG shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the game as it made 21-of-63 field goal attempts.

Valdosta State remains on the road as it travels to Rome, Ga. for a Gulf South Conference game against Shorter on Saturday. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog