VALDOSTA -- If only Valdosta State's men's and women's basketball teams could have coordinated their schedules Monday, things might have turned out better for the Lady Blazers.
The Blazers fought back from a first-half deficit in a 53-46 road win over Alabama-Huntsville in the Chargers' house.
The Lady Blazers held a first-half cushion, but lost it in the final minutes, dropping their first Gulf South Conference game, 62-56, to Alabama-Huntsville's women.
Valdosta State returns to The Complex Saturday at 5:30 p.m. against West Georgia, tipping off a four-game home stand.
VSU men 53 UAH men 46
The Blazer defense, ranked No. 1 in Division II, held Alabama-Huntsville to just 46 points, the lowest point-total Valdosta State has allowed in a GSC game in over a year.
Valdosta State (13-1, 2-0 Gulf South) trailed 7-1 in the first half, and never led in the opening 20 minutes, but scored the first seven points of the second half to build a 29-23 lead.
"We just did a good job of keeping them at bay once we got the lead," Blazers' head coach Jim Yarbrough said.
Alabama Huntsville (8-6, 0-2 Gulf South) got within four at 41-37 on Marcus Benford's layup with 6:09 to play in the game, but that was as close as the Chargers would get.
After two Tony Baker free throws increased the Blazers' advantage to 43-37, freshman Mike Crain drained an improbable three-pointer as the shot clock expired to put Valdosta State up 46-37 with 3:44 remaining.
"You have to be able to do some inspirational and extraordinary things at times to get on the road and win," Yarbrough said of Crain's shot.
Blazers' sophomore center Jon Rogers finished the Chargers off with a monster dunk at the 1:50 mark. Rogers' role was increased, with senior center Rodgie Leggett injured.
"In the first time having to play a whole game, I thought Jon Rogers did a remarkable job," Yarbrough said. "What a great defensive center he is. (Rogers') thunder dunk at the end might have been the dagger in the heart."
Marcus Ghent led the Blazers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Crain added 10 points and five assists. Valdosta State held Huntsville's all-conference center, Zach Carpenter, to just 3-of-15 shooting from the field.
UAH women 62 VSU women 56
The Lady Blazers held off every Alabama-Huntsville rally in the second half, except for the last one.
Alabama-Huntsville pulled within a basket on eight different occasions in the second half, but never led the game until its final surge with 3:21 remaining.
"We jumped on (Alabama-Huntsville) early and weren't able to put them away," Lady Blazers' head coach Kiley Hill said. "We just didn't play well the last three minutes of the basketball game."
Valdosta State (12-2, 1-1 Gulf South) built its largest lead of the second half, 52-45, on a Traci Newton layup with 6:38 to play, but the Lady Chargers used the three-point basket to get back in it.
Huntsville's Jessica Russell hit her fifth three-pointer of the game and Jenna Whisenant also hit from behind the arc to cut the Lady Blazers' lead to 54-53 with 3:21 left. Alabama-Huntsville (8-5, 1-1 Gulf South) hit on 8-of-20 shots from three-point range.
This time Valdosta State couldn't withstand Huntsville's charge, falling behind for the first time Monday, 55-54, on Andrea Davis' lay-in with 2:20 remaining. Davis' points were part of an 8-0 Lady Charger run that put UAH ahead 58-54 with 53 seconds to play.
"This was a hard pill to swallow," Hill said. "We led almost the entire game and just simply got a little fatigued there late."
Valdosta State's Amber Daniels knabbed a steal with 20 ticks left and the Lady Blazers trailing 58-56, but was whistled for charging at the other end of the court.
The Lady Blazers were led by Candice Ferrell's 15 points. Ferrell fouled out with 53 seconds left in the game. Newton added 13 points and eight rebounds.
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