Valdosta Daily Times

Top Sports News

November 18, 2012

Blazers win again

Newcomers Murray, Anacreon lead Blazers to 83-60 victory

VALDOSTA — Newcomers David Murray and James Anacreon posted new career highs and veteran Josh Sparks added a solid night from the floor, as the Valdosta State men’s basketball team improved to 3-0 Saturday night.

 The Blazers routed the Florida Memorial Lions 83-60 in front of an announced crowd of 1,206 inside the P.E. Complex.

“I thought tonight was a very big win for our guys,” Valdosta State coach Mike Helfer said. “We challenged them coming off a sloppy second half (Friday) night. We knew Florida Memorial was good, and we just really wanted to come out and play well.”

That is exactly what the Blazers did Saturday night. They played well and stayed undefeated on the young season.

Valdosta State shot 51 percent from the floor (33 of 65). Murray and Anacreon scored 22 points each, while Sparks added 14. Anacreon and Murray each recorded career highs in rebounds, too. Anacreon hauled in 15 boards, while Murray finished with 11.

“At first (this season), we were playing and trying to see who could do this or who could do that, but now it is all about getting the (win),” Murray said. “It doesn’t matter who is on top, as long as we win. I can come out with zero points in the half and be happy, as long as we get the (win) at the end of the night.”

To Helfer, the unselfishness of his team is the reason for the early season success.

“That is the thing about our team, nobody is caring about who scores,” Helfer said.

For the most part, when the Blazers did score Saturday night, regardless of who it was, it came in the paint. VSU outscored Florida Memorial 56-22 inside the paint, which ultimately was the difference Saturday night.

“Our guys have really taken guarding a priority,” Helfer said. “And then offensively, we have really tried to attack the paint with cuts and dribble-drives and stuff like that. Obviously, that disparity is going to continue if we can keep that up.”

Florida Memorial came out on fire, connecting on three straight 3-pointers and 5 of its first 10 long balls to grab the early advantage over VSU. From there, the Lions didn’t convert another 3-pointer in the game, finishing 5 of 17.

Following the Lions’ quick start, the Blazers put together a 17-0 run to go from trailing 21-16 to leading 33-21. During the run, Murray scored 10 straight points, connecting on three straight 3-pointers to fuel the Blazers.

“I thought that was the best stretch we have played this year — that little seven or eight minutes,” Helfer said. “We got great shots, and it was really created by our defensive pressure. It was just fun to watch that; that is kind of the way I want to play. Our kids did a great job.”

After a Florida Memorial basket, the Blazers extended their lead to 13 points (38-25), before giving way to a strong 12-5 run to end the first half.

The Lions’ run to end the first half was capped off by a basket off an inbounds play at the buzzer, which left Helfer visibly fuming as he walked into the locker room for intermission.

“I was half mad at myself, because we hadn’t talked about that exact scenario in practice a lot,” Helfer said. “I will say this, I thought that basket, I don’t want to say it was good for us, but it changed our locker room. It took us from a relaxed locker room to, ‘Hey, this is a six-point game.’”

It wasn’t a six-point game for long in the second half.

The Blazers quickly added to their lead, using a pair of breakaway dunks from Alan Love and Shaquille Harris to go back up 10. That was the closest Florida Memorial would get to VSU for the remainder of the game.

Then Murray and Anacreon took over by combining to score 15 of VSU’s next 18 points. At the end of the duo’s run, the Blazers led 67-52.

“David is one of my closest friends on the team, and we just know how to play well together,” Anacreon said. “We sort of click. This is a brand new team, and everything is starting to fall into place.”

Sparks added a bucket and two free throws to put the Blazers ahead by 19, 71-52. From there, VSU used a mixed cast of characters throughout the remainder of the game to build a game-high 25-point lead.

Both VSU basketball teams host Albany State Tuesday night at the P.E. Complex. The women’s game begins at 6 p.m., with the men’s game starting at 8 p.m.

Text Only
Top Sports News
  • 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

  • VSU scrimmage6.jpg Valdosta State’s offense comes alive, narrowly defeating the ‘Black Swarm’ 59-55

    Worried more about helping Valdosta State win than impressing in his quarterback battle, Kaleb Nobles got the opportunity to do both at the end of the Blazers' spring game Saturday.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

Top News

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
     View Results