Valdosta Daily Times

January 18, 2014

Blazers fall on the the road to Shorter

Staff Reports

VALDOSTA — Shorter used a 24-6 run midway through the second half to defeat Valdosta State 98-84 in Gulf South Conference men's basketball action at the Winthrop-King Centre Saturday afternoon.

A pair of Jeremy McKay free throws gave Valdosta State (10-4, 4-4) a 73-71 advantage with 9:13 to go before Shorter (7-8, 4-5) went on the game deciding run. Jordan Jacks hit three free throws to put the Hawks in front by a point and, after a Brock Rowan charity shot, added a lay-up. Rowan hit two more free throws and Brandon Pullman added a jumper before Larry Stone ended the 10-0 SU run with a pair of free throws for the Blazers.

Each team scored on its next two possessions before Shorter scored 10 straight points, including four from Jacks, to seal the victory. Jacks closed out the run with a dunk with 2:18 remaining that posted the Hawks to a 95-79 lead.

Valdosta State got off to a fast start in the game as it connected on five of its first eight field goals, including a pair of three-pointers from David Murray and a third from Blake Justice to grab a 15-8 advantage less than four minutes into the contest. Shorter was undeterred as it scored 11 of the next 13 points to grab its first lead of the game with 13:22 to play in the first half and the next eight minutes of play featured five ties and five lead changes.

Murray, who scored 18 first half points, eventually gave the Blazers a five-point lead as he connected on three-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor, but Shorter closed to within a point three times over the remainder of the half before settling for a 50-48 halftime deficit.

Much like the first half, the opening minutes of the second half were tightly contested as the opening 10 minutes featured 10 lead changes and a tie while neither team led by more than seven points during the span. Shorter's largest lead of the first 10 minutes of the half came on Travis Jones lay-up with 13:08 remaining in the game that gave the Hawks a 68-61 lead, while Valdosta State's largest lead came with 11:19 to go when a Jalen Crawford jumper put the Blazers in front 71-69.

Colin Cook recorded his first career double-double in the game as he finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Blazers. Murray also tallied 20 points in the contest, but after entering the contest as the GSC's leading rebounder at 10.8 per game, was limited to just two boards. Justice added 14 and Crawford 13 for VSU.

Valdosta State shot 44.8 percent from the field in the game as it made 30-of-67 field goals, but missed 10 of its final 13 attempts to set up the SU game-deciding run. The Blazers made 12-of-22 three-pointers in the game, including a five-of-six performance from Murray and a four-of-seven showing from Justice. Cook added three blocks to go along with his double-double.

Pullman scored a game-high 27 points to lead five Hawks in double figures. Dedric Ware added 19 and Travis Jones had 16 points and 12 rebounds while Jacks scored 14 and Kurtis Woods 10.

SU made 36-of-63 field goal attempts to shoot 57.1 percent from the field and owned a 44-26 advantage in rebounds in the contest.

Valdosta State returns to action Thursday, January 23 when it welcomes No. 25 Delta State to The Complex.