Blazers > Lee Outlasts Valdosta State 78-75

| February 1, 2015
VSU Photo

VSU Photo

CLEVELAND, TN – The Valdosta State men’s basketball team gave the Lee Flames a run on Saturday night in Cleveland, Tenn., but came up just short in a 78-75 Gulf South Conference loss at Paul Dana Walker Arena.

VSU fell to 9-12 overall after the tough defeat and dropped to 4-11 in GSC play. For Lee the victory was their eighth of the year and home and lifted the team to an 11-9 overall record, 6-9 in league play.

The Blazers offensive attack got off to a slow start in the early going, as the squad was unable to connect on a shot until the 11:50 mark of the first half. Jeremiah Hill ended the drought, however, with a three ball that knotted the contest up at 9-9.

The ensuing minutes featured a much better shooting effort by the red and black, as VSU connected on 11-of-17 attempts over the course of the next 17 minutes to give the Blazers a 38-32 lead heading into the locker room at the half.

The first half surge was capped off by a seven-point possession for the Blazers during the final 30 seconds of the frame, and Hill accounted for each of those seven points. The guard was fouled intentionally on a successful layup attempt, and finished the sequence with two free throws and a three pointer at the halftime buzzer. The series of buckets for Hill pushed the Savannah, Ga. native to a twelve point total in the first half alone.

Lee opened up the second half with a 12-6 run, capped by a Bryce Copeland jumper which tied the game up at 44-44 with 13:12 to play. But Hill came up big again on the ensuing possession with a three that returned the lead to Valdosta State.

Valdosta State retained the lead for four minutes, but a long three from the corner by Cory Billingsley put Lee back in front 56-55 at the 9:19 mark. The next three minutes featured two ties and three lead changes before the Flames took the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Elgrin Wilson.

VSU kept the game close and pulled to within two on a Josh Lemons three pointer with 1:30 to play. With a chance to tie the game on their final possession, Lemons’ final attempt from the top of the arc hit the side of the rim as the final buzzer sounded. The final 6:48 seconds of the game belonged to the Flames, who narrowly outscored the Blazers 19-15 during that stretch.

Hill finished the night with a team high 18 points, one point shy of his career high. Meanwhile, Colin Cook posted his third double-double of the season with 13 rebounds and 12 points.

For the Flames, Wilson led the way with 19 points. Over half of the forward’s points came on free throws, as he connected on 11 of his 14 attempts from the stripe.

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