Valdosta Daily Times

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February 28, 2014

Blazers fall 72-57 to No. 25 Delta State

Women bested by No. 17 Delta State

CLEVELAND, Miss. —  No. 25 Delta State used a 27-4 second half run to defeat Valdosta State 72-57 in Gulf South Conference men's basketball action at Sillers Coliseum Thursday evening.

Valdosta State (15-10, 9-10) struggled shooting the ball early in the game as it made just four of its first 20 field goal attempts while falling behind by as much seven during the first 11 minutes of play. After Blake Justice scored on a jumper to open the scoring in the game, VSU did not score another point for the next six minutes while Delta State (23-4, 16-3) built a 9-2 advantage with 14:03 to play in the first half.

The Statesmen maintained a six-point lead for the next five minute before VSU put together an 10-0 run to regain the lead at 21-17 at the 4:58 mark of the first half. Larry Stone spurred the run as he scored on a lay-up and it a three-pointer to even the game before Jeremy McKay reestablished a Blazer advantage with a jumper. Jalen Craword closed out the spurt with a jumper.

After missing all four of its shots and committing three turnovers during the Valdosta State run, DSU scored four straight points to once again tie the game, but continued its struggles over the remainder of the half as it missed six of its final seven shots. The Blazers took advantage and got two Crawford free throws with no time left on the clock to take a 28-26 halftime lead.

After hitting just 10 of its 32 shots in the first half, Valdosta State found its range early in the second half as it made seven of its first 10 attempts to build a seven-point advantage less than six minutes into the frame. Four different Blazers scored during the span, led by six points by McKay. Crawford closed out the 14-9 spurt by the Blazers with a lay-up off a steal by McKay to give VSU a 42-35 advantage with 14:40 to play in the contest.

Delta State responded with the next 11 points of the game to once again take the lead. McKay broke the Statesmen streak with a basket, but DSU went on to score the next 11 points to build a double-digit advantage at 57-44.

Valdosta State got no closer than 11 the rest of the game while DSU built a lead as large as 72-54.

McKay led Valdosta State with 19 points while Stone had 13 and Crawford 10. The Blazers made 23-of-67 field goals to shoot 34.3 percent from the floor in the game while also making only seven-of-16 free throws.

Zelvin Smith scored 16 points to lead Delta State while Cornell Knight and Jack Madgen tallied 15 each and Willie Readus finished with 14 to go along with 12 rebounds. The Statesmen shot 41.8 percent from the floor and owned a 48-34 advantage in rebounding in the game.

Valdosta State closes out its 2013-14 regular season Saturday at 5 p.m. as it plays at Christian Brothers.

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