VALDOSTA, Ga. – Tyrone Curnell scored 22 points, including 21 in the first half, to lead Valdosta State to an 87-55 victory over Florida Memorial in front of a crowd of 1,566 fans in non-conference men’s basketball action at the P.E. Complex Friday evening.
Curnell connected on seven-of-eight field goals and five-of-eight free throws during the first 20 minutes of play. He played just six minutes during the final half of play and attempted just one field goal attempt and two free throws, one of which he hit, while pulling down six rebounds.
The Blazers (3-0) never trailed as they scored 20 of the first 24 points of the game. Curnell and Ryan Nelson spurred the run as Curnell scored 11 during the run while Nelson added six. Nelson began the game with a pair of three-pointer and Curnell added a pair of three-point plays before Florida Memorial scored on a SonNickey Beauge basket. Christian Hunter added a three for VSU and Curnell a jumper and a three to close out the run.
FMU got no closer than nine points the rest of the game while the Blazers used an 18-8 run over the final 5:30 of the half to build a 54-32 halftime lead. VSU connected on 18 of its 28 first half field goals to shoot 64.3 percent from the field in half while limiting the Panthers to just 36.1 percent (13-of-36) from the field.
The Blazer lead grew to 30 points over the first six minutes of the second half and reached as high as 38 on a Josh Williams free throw with 2:43 to go in the game. Valdosta State shot just 40.0 percent from the floor in the second half, connecting on 10-of-25 shots, but held Florida Memorial to just 20.6 percent (7-of-34) from the floor in the frame.
Nelson tallied 13 points in the game to finish as the only other Blazer in double figures as all 11 players scored for Valdosta State. VSU shot 52.8 percent from the floor in the game, connecting on 28-of-53 shots and finished the game nine-of-18 on three-pointers. The Blazers owned a 46-43 advantage in rebounding while blocking five shots, including three by Billy McShepard.
Antwan Baggs led Florida Memorial with 16 points while Matthew Rolle finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Roderick Davis also scored in double figures with 11 as the Panthers shot 28.6 percent from the floor in the game. They forced 14 VSU turnovers, but were hampered by 16 of their own.
Valdosta State returns to action Tuesday, November 24 when it hits the road for the first time in 2009-10 with a game at Fort Valley State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.