FLORENCE, Ala. - North Alabama turned 23 Valdosta State turnovers into 21 points as the Lions defeated the Blazers 84-70 in Gulf South Conference men's basketball action at Flowers Hall Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, North Alabama improved to 9-6 and 2-2 in GSC play while Valdosta State fell to 7-7 and 1-3 in league action.
The Lions led throughout the game as VSU's only lead of the game came at 1-0 after a Sidney Harris free throw. UNA scored the next eight points of the game and allowed the Blazers no closer than four points while building a 20-10 lead with 12:22 to play in the first half.
The Lion lead grew to as much as 13 points twice over the remainder of the first half before Valdosta State used an 17-6 run to close to within 34-32 on a Chris Rozier dunk with 2:37 to play in the half. Harris led the run as he connected on a pair of three-pointers to open the spurt while four more Blazers scored before the Rozier dunk.
North Alabama rebounded to score the final four points of the half to claim a 38-32 halftime lead.
The two teams played even for the first three minutes of overtime before UNA used an 11-2 charge to push its advantage into double digits. The Lion lead got no lower than nine points for the next 10 minutes before a late 10-2 run by Valdosta State got the Blazers to within 70-63 with 2:48 to play.
North Alabama hit all 14 of its free throws the rest of the game to solidify the win.
Harris led Valdosta State with 21 points while Rozier was the only other Blazer to score in double figures, finishing with 10. VSU shot 45.3 percent in the game as it connected on 24-of-53 field goal attempts. The Blazers owned a 39-33 advantage in rebounding.
Theron Jenkins led all scorers with 24 points while Warrick Mastin added 16 and Kenyan Jackson 12 for North Alabama, which recorded 15 steals on the 23 VSU turnovers.
Valdosta State returns to action Thursday, January 19 at 8:30 p.m. when it travels to Livingston, Ala. to face West Alabama.