Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

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
Local Sports
  • rachel.jpg Factor X Fitness holds Fitness Classic

    South Georgia is on the verge of muscling its way back into the national bodybuilding scene, ending a lengthy absence.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • No. 21 Blazer Softball faces Lee in regular season finale

    Expect Blazer Nation to be out at Steel's Diamond at Blazer Park in full force today and Saturday to watch their No. 21 Valdosta State softball team take on the Lee Lady Flames in the final series of the 2014 regular season.

    April 18, 2014

  • VHSsigning.jpg Goals Achieved

    The Valdosta High Wildcats hosted a scholarship signing ceremony for senior soccer player Dale Fulton Kent on Thursday afternoon in the schools’ Performing Arts Center.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog
More