- Following a pair of tough conference victories on the road last week, men's basketball Head Coach Mike Helfer was honored on a national level as the HoopDirt.com National Division II Coach of the Week.
Helfer's No. 20 ranked Valdosta State Blazers entered Thursday night's highly anticipated showdown against the No. 23 Alabama Huntsville Chargers with a lot on the line. The two teams were nationally ranked, tied for first place at 15-3 in the Gulf South Conference, and the Chargers had just earned the No. 1 ranking in the first release of the South Region polls one day prior to edge out the No. 2 ranked Blazers. Thursday's contest did not disappoint, as Valdosta State's Beau Justice hit a three with one second left in regulation to force overtime, and the Blazers escaped the hostile environment of Spragins Hall with an 84-81 win.
The victory helped the Blazers seal hosting rights for the opening round of the Gulf South Conference playoffs on February 28th, and Valdosta State added validity to their push for South Region supremacy with another road win, 77-74, on Saturday against the North Alabama Lions. The pair of wins extended VSU's winning streak to four, and lifted the team to a 22-4 record overall and a 17-3 record in Gulf South Conference play.
Helfer is now 223-123 overall and 104-84 against GSC opponents during his career at Valdosta State. His overall record as a collegiate head coach is 409-206.
The Blazers return to action on Thursday at 8:00 p.m., with a home matchup against the Shorter Hawks at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga.