Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

March 4, 2014

Valdosta State men, women to open GSC tournament Thursday

The Valdosta State basketball teams won’t have to wait long to get their postseasons started.

Both the VSU men and women open the Gulf South Conference tournament Thursday, the first day of the event, at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala.

The VSU men, who dropped their final two games of the regular season to finish 15-11 overall and 9-11 in the GSC, play second-seeded West Alabama at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Tigers are 17-9 and 14-6 in the league.

The Blazers and Tigers split their regular-season meeting this season, with Valdosta State winning 93-83 at home Jan. 4. West Alabama returned the favor Feb. 6 with a 72-68 decision. UWA won its final two games of the regular season and seven of its past eight.

The Valdosta State-West Alabama winner will advance to face either North Alabama or West Georgia on Saturday in a semifinal. The other half of the bracket features Delta State playing West Florida and Alabama-Huntsville facing Christian Brothers.

On the women’s side, Valdosta State also earned the seventh seed with a 12-14 mark overall, 7-13 in the GSC. The Blazers won two of their final three games, including Saturday’s regular-season finale at Christian Brothers. However, VSU’s fate was sealed when it lost five straight preceding that and and 11 of 13.

Now it has to play West Florida, which finished fourth in the conference with a 16-10 overall record, 11-9 in the conference. But with regular season champion Lee and Union, which was third, ineligible for the postseason, the Argonauts are the second seed behind Delta State.

VSU and UWF split the regular season matchups with the Blazers opening up conference play with a 51-48 decision at The Complex on Dec. 14. The Argonauts then won a rescheduled game 67-53 on Feb. 17. That was part of Valdosta State’s five-game slide.

The Blazers-Argos winner will advance to Saturday’s semifinal round against either Alabama-Huntsville or West Georgia. The other half of the tournament bracket has Delta State facing West Alabama and Christian Brothers meeting North Alabama.

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