Blazers Slay the Argonauts, 101-85

| January 18, 2016


VALDOSTA, Ga. – A host of injuries stacked the deck against the Valdosta State men’s basketball team heading into Saturday afternoon’s Gulf South Conference showdown with the West Florida Argonauts. It was hard to tell, however, as the Blazers stayed in sync all day to post one of their best offensive outings of the year and torch the Argonauts, 101-85, at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga.

Strong shooting was the order of the day for Valdosta State, as the Blazers used a 21-of-29, 72.4 percent second half shooting exhibition to pull away from the Argonauts and secure the 16-point win. The Blazers hit 8-of-11 long ball attempts in the second half alone to finish the game at 50.0 percent (12-of-24) from the arc and 59.4 percent (38-of-64) on the afternoon.

Chris Longoria led the way for the Blazers with 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting and three treys, while Blake Justice backed him up with 24 points of his own. Justice was incredibly efficient throughout the game and connected on 9-of-13 attempts from the field and 5-of-6 from downtown.

The Blazers entered the contest without regular starters Justin Simon and Saadiq Muhammad, but Josh Lemons and Shaun Jones helped fill the void with 11 and 18 points, respectively. The pair also accounted for four of VSU’s nine steals and teamed up to help force 18 UWF turnovers, which led to 29 points for the red and black.

Valdosta State picked up the victory, despite a strong offensive performance by the Argonauts that included a 54.4 shooting display. Five players reached double-digits in the scoring column for UWF, but Valdosta State survived the attack by taking care of the ball and committing just seven turnovers.

The win boosted the Blazers to 11-5 on the year and 7-4 in the GSC, while West Florida’s woes continued, as the team fell to 3-11 overall and 2-9 against league opponents.

Next up for VSU, it’s a two-game road trip, beginning with an 8:30 p.m. EST matchup in Huntsville, Ala. against the Alabama-Huntsville Chargers on Thursday night.

Blazer Nation is also encouraged to join Head Coach Mike Helfer and host Phil Jones on Monday night at Dick’s Wings and Grill for the return of the Mike Helfer Radio Show, which will take place each Monday night at 7:00 p.m. throughout the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

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