VALDOSTA, Ga. – Shaquille Harris connected on five-of-seven three-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points to lead Valdosta State to a 104-67 victory over visiting Coastal Georgia in men's basketball action at The Complex Tuesday evening.
With the win, VSU improved to 9-1 on the season while Coastal Georgia fell to 2-10.
Harris was hot from the start as he scored each of Valdosta State's first three baskets, all from beyond the three-point arc. The barrage from beyond the trifecta line by the junior sparked a 16-6 Blazer run to open the game, which ended at the 15:24 mark when Harris made his fourth three-pointer of the game.
After Dustin Henry hit a three for Coastal Georgia, Harris made it five-for-five on three-point attempt to push the VSU lead back to 10 points before David Murray wrapped a bucket and a pair of free throws around a Mariner basket. Demetris Allen added five straight point and John Hoskins, Alan Love and Colin Cook lay-ups as Valdosta State built a 34-11 lead with five minutes to go in the first half.
Coastal Georgia got no closer than 19 points the rest of the half and eventually trailed 47-28 at the intermission.
The Mariners closed to within 16 points early in the second half only to have Harris make four straight free throws to push the VSU advantage back to 20.
The Valdosta State lead dipped no lower than 17 the rest of the game as the Blazers answered each Coastal Georgia bucket with one of its own. The Blazers used a 17-3 run over the middle of the second half to open its lead to more than 30 at 88-57 with 5:05 to play. Hoskins spurred on the run as he scored the first 10 VSU points of the spurt.
Harris led six Valdosta State players in double figure scoring as Hoskins had 15 points while Allen and Murray finished with 13 each and James Anacreon 12. Patrick Diop finished with 10 points and six assists. The Blazers shot 52.0 percent from the floor as they made 39-of-75 field goal attempts, including 13-of-26 three-pointers. VSU dished out 26 assists on its 39 made baskets and owned a 53-40 advantage in rebounding while blocking 10 shots and coming up with 13 steals.
Reggie Burke and Kentorey Johnson had 15 each to lead Coastal Georgia, which shot 32.4 percent from the floor.
Valdosta State returns to action Thursday, January 3 when it plays its first home Gulf South Conference game of the year. The Blazers will host Alabama-Huntsville with an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.
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