Valdosta Daily Times

March 1, 2013

Valdosta State falls 93-79 to Christian Brothers


The Valdosta Daily Times

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Christian Brothers shot nearly 64 percent from the floor, and the Bucs defeated Valdosta State 93-79 in Gulf South Conference men’s basketball action at Canale Arena Thursday evening.

With the win, CBU improved to 17-8 overall and 12-5 in GSC play. Valdosta State fell to 17-8 overall and 9-8 in league action.

Christian Brothers made 30 of its 47 shots in the game (63.8 percent), while also making 24 of 28 free throws.

Valdosta State struggled in the early going, as it missed 19 of its first 23 shots of the game. After a slow start, which saw Christian Brothers make just two of its first eight field goals and turn the ball over seven times, the Bucs eventually took advantage of the Blazers’ struggles with a 12-0 run to grab the lead for good.

Sidy Sall opened the Buc run with a pair of free throws, then Ryan Fleming hit a three-pointer. After a Fleming turnover, CBU’s eighth in the first 10 minutes of play, Trey Casey hit a three and Sall added a basket. Fleming closed out the spurt with a dunk to give Christian Brothers an 18-8 advantage with 8:14 to play in the first half.

The Blazers rebounded in the ensuing four minutes. They made their next four attempts and closed to within six points on three different occasions, the last coming at 27-21 with four minutes left in the first half. However, VSU missed its next four attempts, and Christian Brothers went on a 10-0 run to push its lead back into double digits. James Anacreon eventually ended the Blazer drought with a basket, then Colin Cook made one of two free throws for VSU. CBU held a 37-24 halftime lead.

Christian Brothers committed 12 first half turnovers, but shot 54.5 percent from the floor (12 of 22), and also made all nine of its free throws. Meanwhile, VSU was only successful on nine of its 36 shots.

The Bucs’ hot shooting continued in the opening five minutes of the second half, as Christian Brothers made five of its first six field goals and all three free throws. But VSU’s Shaquille Harris scored nine points during that five minute span, which helped the Blazers close to within 48-39 with 15:21 to play.

After the fast start to the half, VSU cooled off, missing four of its next five field goals, while Christian Brothers continued to find its range. CBU eventually opened a lead as large as 62-42 with 11:32 remaining. Valdosta State responded with nine of the next 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers by Harris.

The next four minutes of the game saw the Valdosta State deficit dip no lower than 13 points and go no higher than 17 points, before VSU made one last comeback bid. The Blazers closed to within 10 points on two different occasions in the final five minutes, the last coming at 82-72 on an Anacreon lay-up with 2:18 to play. However, CBU scored the next five points to increase its lead back to 15 points, 87-72.

Harris made five three-pointers and scored a team-high 25 points for Valdosta State. Anacreon added 11 points. The Blazers shot 38.3 percent from the floor, making 31 of 81 field goal attempts.

Casey led CBU with 25 points, while Pat Graham added 20 and Fleming 16. Sall and Michael Drake had 12 points each for the Bucs, who committed 21 turnovers in the game.

Valdosta State closes out its 2012-13 regular season on Saturday at 5 p.m., when it travels to Cleveland, Miss. to play Delta State.



Lady Blazers 68, Christian Brothers 60

Valdosta State’s women’s basketball team defeated Christian Brothers 68-60 on Thursday evening at Canale Arena.

The Lady Blazers built a double digit first half lead, and never looked back.

With the win, VSU improved to 16-9 overall and 9-8 in GSC play. Christian Brothers fell to 6-19 overall and 3-14 in conference play.

Christian Brothers kept the game close for the first seven minutes, building an 8-7 lead, before Valdosta State used a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. Kamyia Smith opened the run with a free throw and added a lay-up off a steal, then Kourtnee Williams scored on a pair of baskets. Smith closed out the spurt with a pair of free throws at the 9:22 mark of the first half to put VSU in front by eight.

The Lady Bucs ended the VSU run with a three-pointer, only to have Valdosta State score the game’s next eight points, including seven from Courtney Sprague. CBU was unable to get closer than 11 points the remainder of the half, while the Lady Blazers’ lead grew to as many as 15 points, 30-15, on an Ivana Domljanovic basket.

Christian Brothers scored the final four points of the first half, but VSU held a 30-19 halftime lead.

CBU scored 12 of the first 13 points of the second half to tie the game at 31-31, but Sprague put the Lady Blazers back in front with a three-pointer at the 15:32 mark. That shot put VSU back in front for good. Valdosta State followed the Sprague three with an 18-7 run to build a 52-38 advantage with 6:54 remaining.

The Valdosta State lead grew to as many as 17 points three minutes later, before Christian Brothers began one last comeback bid. The Lady Bucs used a 15-3 run, spurred by a defense that forced four VSU turnovers during the run, to close to within 63-58 with just over a minute to play. However, the Lady Blazers made five of their six free throw attempts the rest of the way to seal the victory.

Williams led Valdosta State with 17 points, while Sprague added 14. The Lady Blazers shot 48.9 percent from the floor in the game, making 23 of 47 field goal attempts, and owned a commanding 37-24 advantage in rebounding.

Breanna Ridgell scored 24 points for Christian Brothers, while Candis Clear poured in 15. The Lady Bucs were limited to just 18 of 57 shooting in the game (31.8 percent).

Valdosta State will conclude its 2012-13 regular season on Saturday, when it travels to Delta State for a 3 p.m. game.