Blazers > Men’s Basketball Drops Conference Loss

| January 7, 2015

Valdosta State Basketball Coach

VALDOSTA – Union had five players score in double figures as the Bulldogs defeated Valdosta State 84-78 in Gulf South Conference men’s basketball action at The Complex Monday evening.

With the win, Union improved to 12-2 overall and 6-2 in league play while the Blazers fell to 7-7 and 2-6 against GSC foes.

Neither team shot well from the floor during the first half as much of the scoring in the frame came from the free throw line. Union converted on 10 of its 27 field goal attempts in the frame, but made 14-of-16 from the charity stripe while Valdosta State was 11-of-33 from the floor, but 11-of-12 from the free throw line.

The first half was tight throughout the 20 minutes of play as neither team led by more than five points while the frame featured seven ties and five lead changes. The Bulldogs controlled the opening minutes as they scored 13 of the game’s first 22 points, but VSU responded with a 7-0 run to grab its largest lead of the frame just over six minutes into the contest.

Colin Cook opened the Blazer run with a three-point play and later added a lay-up to put the Blazers in front. Shaun Jones also scored in the paint to put Valdosta State up 16-13 with 13:52 to go before the half.

VSU maintained its lead for the next two minutes, but Roy Bullock scored five straight points to once again put Union in front. The Bulldogs eventually built a five-point cushion, but Jeff Nibo’s lay-in right before the halftime buzzer established a 37-34 UU lead at the intermission.

The shooting for both teams heated up in the second half, with Union taking advantage from beyond the three-point line as it made six of its 10 tries in the final 20 minutes of play. The Bulldogs connected on three of the trifectas in the first two minutes of the half, during which they ran out to a 48-39 advantage, the largest lead of the game.

Valdosta State responded with four straight points to pull to within five and eventually got to within 58-56 with 11:21 to go, only to have Union once again build a nine-point lead two minutes later. The Blazers put together one last run as the closed to within a point on a dunk by James Spencer with 5:53 remaining. Spencer was fouled on the play and went to the line with a chance to tie the game, but missed the free throw and the Bulldogs scored the next eight points of the game, after which the Blazers got no closer than four points.

Spencer recorded his third double-double of the season, and second in as many games, as he finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds while Cook led the Blazers with 18 points. Jeff Nibo also scored in double figures with 14 as Valdosta State shot 37.7 percent from the field while making 26-of-69 field goal attempts. Much of VSU’s success in the game came around the rim as the Blazers owned a 38 to 18 advantage in points in the paint. Valdosta State also made 22-of-28 free throws and owned a 46-40 advantage in rebounding.

Marterrace Brock led all scorers with 20 points while Corieon Pearson added 19. Pedro Faller finished with 14 for the Bulldogs and Ashanti Day 13, including 10 from the free throw line, while Roy Bullock had 10. The Bulldogs made 25 of their 58 field goal attempts, including 9-of-21 from beyond the three-point stripe, and hit 25-of-32 free throws.

Valdosta State returns to action Saturday, January 10 when it travels to Carrollton, Ga. to take on GSC foe West Georgia 4:00 p.m.

Valdosta State Athletics

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