VALDOSTA, Ga. - The Valdosta State men's basketball team picked up their 12th consecutive victory in a 101-99 overtime win over rival North Alabama in Gulf South Conference action on Saturday afternoon in Florence, Ala.
The overtime contest marked VSU's fourth of the season, each of which have resulted in Blazer wins. Furthermore, Valdosta State extended their current winning streak and picked up their 31st win in the program's last 35 GSC matchups dating back through the 2016-17 season.
This time out, Clay Guillozet served as the fuel for Valdosta State's high-octane offense. The sophomore scored the first five points of the game for the Blazers and proceeded to drop 24 on the Lions in the contest to match a previous season high, which Guillozet reached in an overtime road win over Lee back on January 2nd. The Ohio native buried 11-of-14 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line, while adding six rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Valdosta State trailed by as many as 13 with 15-plus minutes to play in the second half, before VSU began a slow, methodical comeback. For the next 10 minutes, the Blazers used their firepower to take their first lead of the second half with a two-handed KJ James dunk in transition.
Five lead changes and four ties ensued during the final five minutes of the contest, and VSU managed to thwart a potential game winner for UNA on the final possession of regulation to force overtime.
North Alabama scored the first two points of the overtime period on a pair of Sharwyn McGee free throws, but the Blazers returned fire with a three point play by Beau Justice to take a one-point lead. Kendall Stafford put UNA back in front with a tip-in on the ensuing possession, but VSU scored eight unanswered points with back-to-back threes by Winston Morgan and Jimmy Kodet, before Guillozet added a fastbreak layup. The lead was one the Blazers would not relinquish, despite a barrage of UNA three pointers down the stretch.
The win lifted Valdosta State to 19-2 overall and 12-1 in league play. The Blazers currently hold sole possession of first place in the GSC standings. North Alabama dropped to 10-10 overall and fell to 5-8 in conference play with the loss.
Valdosta State will return home to face Shorter on Thursday night at The Complex, where the Blazers currently hold a perfect 10-0 record this season. Since January of last year, VSU has won 20 consecutive games at home. Tip time is slated for 8:00 p.m. following the Lady Blazers' matchup at 6:00 p.m.