VSU Outlasts Lane 74-64

Courtesy VSU Sports Information

VALDOSTA, Ga. Valdosta State overcame a poor shooting performance to defeat Lane 74-64 in non-conference men’s basketball action at The Complex Friday evening.The Blazers (1-0) made just 21 of their 56 field goals in the game to shoot 37.5 percent from the floor. VSU’s struggles were especially prevalent in the second half when it made only 10-of-29 attempts.

While Valdosta State struggled shooting, so did Lane (0-1), who made 20-of-51 to shoot 39.2 percent in the game, including only 7-of-24, or 29.2 percent, in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Valdosta State led throughout the first half as it scored the first seven points of the game. Josh Lemons opened the scoring with a jumper in the paint before James Spencer nailed a three-pointer and Blake Justice hit two free throws to put the Blazers in front 7-0 two and a half minutes into the game.

Lane fought back to close to within a point at the 15 minute mark, but the Blazers answered with a 9-2 run to build its largest lead of the half at 19-11 with 12:27 to play in the first half.

The Dragons kept the game close over the ensuing 10 minutes and got as close as 35-34 with 3:51 to play in the frame only to have VSU claim a 42-40 halftime advantage.

Both teams struggled scoring in the opening minutes of the second half as Lane scored five points in the first five minutes of the frame while VSU managed just three.

After a Joseph Cooper lay-up evened the game at 45-45 with 15 minutes to go in the game, Valdosta State finally found its scoring touch as Lester Moore made a lay-up following an offensive rebound while Colin Cook also added a put-back basket. Following a basket by the Dragons, Jacob Obande added a jumper to give the Blazers a 51-47 lead with just over 11 minutes remaining.

Lane continued to fight over the ensuing three minutes and eventually gained its first lead of the game on a pair of Terrance Bridgeman with 8:42 to play while Rodney Clarke added two more charity shots less than a minute later.

Valdosta State fought back and took the lead as Obande andBlake Justice hit three-pointers on back-to-back trips down the floor before Obande added a jumper in the paint and Cook hit two free throws to give the Blazers the lead for good.

Obande scored 21 minutes off the bench to lead the Blazers while Justice added 18 and James Spencer 15. The Blazers owned a 41 to 36 advantage in rebounding, but turned the ball over 23 times, as did Lane.

Donald Stewart scored 20 points to lead the Dragons while Terrance Bridgeman 14 and Cooper 10.

Valdosta State returns to action Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m.when it hosts Albany State in the final game of the Holiday Inn GSC vs. SIAC Challenge.

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