VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Valdosta State men's basketball team took advantage of a Delta State win over Alabama-Huntsville in Cleveland, Miss. and used a 74-53 triumph over West Alabama to enter a three-way tie for first place on Saturday afternoon in Valdosta, Ga.
The Blazers controlled the game from the outset, after Beau Justice gave VSU their first lead of the game with three pointers on back-to-back possessions. Valdosta State rode the momentum throughout the first half with deadeye accuracy from the field and a host of highlight-reel plays. The squad's 57.6 shooting percentage led the team to a to a 47-24 halftime lead, and Jeremiah Hill paced the effort with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting in the first half alone.
In the second period, Valdosta State put together a steady, balanced spread that included an impressive defensive performance. The Blazer defense kept the contest in check and held the Tigers at bay, forcing UWA to shoot a paltry 8-of-29 from the field for just 27.6 percent.
Overall in the game, Hill led the way on offense with 28 points, while Saadiq Muhammad landed another double-double on the afternoon after scoring 10 points and hauling in 12 rebounds. Nine different players scored points in the game, and VSU completely dominated the boards with 44 against West Alabama's 28.
As mentioned, Saturday's result allowed the Blazers to claim a piece of the top spot in the GSC standings with both Alabama-Huntsville and Delta State. VSU improved to 12-3 overall and 7-2 in league action, while the Tigers dropped to 8-7 overall and 3-6 in conference play.
All eyes now turn to next Thursday on January 19th, when the Blazers will continue their current home stand with a critical first-place showdown against the Statesmen of Delta State University. The matchup is pegged for an 8:00 p.m. start, upon conclusion of the women's game earlier in the evening.