The big road wins Valdosta State needed to stay in the Gulf South Conference tournament race came Saturday in Pensacola, Fla.

The Blazers (18-6 overall, 7-5 in the GSC East) handed West Florida its first home conference loss, running away from the Argonauts, 73-51.

Later, the Lady Blazers (14-10 overall, 9-5 in the GSC East) held off West Florida's late charge to win, 58-55.

The Lady Blazers maintained their half-game lead over West Georgia in the fight for the last Gulf South East berth in the conference tournament.

The Blazers are one-half game back of Lincoln Memorial and West Georgia, who both had home wins Saturday.

VSU now needs to win Monday night at West Alabama to set up a season-ending showdown with West Georgia. The two rivals play Saturday afternoon at The Complex.

"This was a stellar, stellar performance despite foul trouble," said men's coach Jim Yarbrough. "We were due. We've become a pretty battle-tested group.

"Maybe we have our swagger back."

VSU blew out a team which had excelled at home this season, completing a season sweep of the Argonauts.

The Blazers outscored UWF 43-28 in the final 20 minutes.

Ernest Scott led VSU with 14 points.

Rodgie Leggett added 11 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Tony Baker added 13 points and six rebounds, while Jerrod Jones had 10 points.

Jones and the two Blazer seniors, John Prise and Jeremy Brooks, had near-flawless games. The three combined for 13 assists and no turnovers.

For the game, VSU had just six turnovers.

The Lady Blazers had a 51-40 lead with 6:10 left, but West Florida made a final run. The Argonauts missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

"We had a lot of adversity, but we kept finding a way to survive," said head coach Kiley Hill.

Danielle Hernandez continued her hot shooting with 17 points. Amber Daniels added 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Hernandez had two free throws late which kept the Lady Blazers ahead, while Traci Newton (eight points) had a late 3-point goal.

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