Blazers > West Alabama Rolls over VSU

| February 20, 2015

VSU Basketball

VALDOSTA – West Alabama held Valdosta State without a basket for nine minutes in the second half as the Tigers defeated the Blazers 72-54 in Gulf South Conference men’s basketball action at The Complex Thursday evening.

With the score was close throught the first 28 minutes of the game and the contest was tied at 44-44 when the Blazers (9-17, 4-16) endured their shooting slump. After Jay Watkins hit a three-pointer with 12:18 remaining in the contest, Valdosta State scored just four free throws over the next nine minutes of the contest. Meanwhile, West Alabama (19-9, 14-6) made 10 of its next 18 attempts and added four free throws to open a 21-point lead, at 69-48, with 3:31 to play. Josh Lemons finally broke the VSU drought on the next possession as he connected on a jumper in the lane.

The Tigers led for much of the first half, during which neither team shot particularly well from the floor. UWA twice led by eight points in the frame, but Valdosta State used a strong rebounding effort, which saw the Blazers out-rebound West Alabama 9-3 on the offensive glass, to take 11 more field goal attempts. The rebounds paid off as, after the half saw four lead changes and two ties, VSU used a 7-0 run over the final four minutes of the frame to close to within 27-26 at the intermission. Jeremiah Hill put the exclamation point on the Blazer run as he drained a three-pointer from 30 feet at the halftime buzzer.

The Valdosta State run continued in the opening minutes of the second half as VSU opened the frame on a 6-0 spurt before UWA responded with six straight points to take a 33-32 lead less than three minutes into the contest. The next five minutes of action featured four ties and a pair of lead changes before UWA closed the game by scoring 28 of the final 38 points of the contest.

Jeff Nibo led Valdosta State with 14 points as he was the only Blazer to score in double figures. VSU connected on 20-of-65 field goal attempts in the game to shoot 30.8 percent from the field.

Justin Wright scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds to lead West Alabama, which shot 54.6 percent from the field in the second half to end the game at 44.6 percent. The Tigers also ended up with a 46 to 39 advantage in rebounding.

Valdosta State returns to action Saturday, February 21 when it hosts West Georgia at The Complex at 8:00 p.m. in Gulf South Conference action.

Valdosta State Athletics

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