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Blazers men fall short against Chargers in men's basketball

Comeback bid in second half wasn't enough
Posted at 1:26 AM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 01:26:51-05

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Behind a team-high 20 points from freshman guard Ricky Brown, who went 5 of 11 from beyond the arc and 7 of 14 from the field, the Valdosta State men's basketball second-half comeback attempt fell short, 77-73, at Alabama Huntsville Tuesday evening.

The Blazers fell to 11-15 on the year and 7-12 in the GSC while the Chargers improved to 17-10 overall and 10-8 in the GSC.

With 33 seconds remaining in the game, Brown sunk a three-pointer and tied the game at 73, but after a made layup and a turnover, the Chargers came away with the 77-73 victory.

The Chargers got on the board first from a layup by Chaney Johnson, and again with a jump shot from Luke Burnett to start the game. Junior guard Jacolbey Owens started the scoring campaign for VSU with a three-pointer assisted by junior forward Mohamed Fofana to bring the score to 4-3 in favor of the Chargers.

UAH saw its biggest lead in the first 20 minutes, 28-15, from a pair of free throws by Jack Kostel, who was fouled by junior forward Maurice Gordon. VSU went into the locker room down 11 points, 42-31.

The Blazers shot 10 of 25 from the field and 7 of 19 from beyond the arc, and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line in the first half. The Blazers put up nine points off of UAH's eight turnovers and had four offensive rebounds, resulting in four second-chance points.

In the second half, the Blazers saw their biggest deficit of the game, 51-31 after Johnson put away a layup with 17:18 left to play. The Blazers didn't give up, however, and proceeded with an 8-0 run with 15:43 left sparked by sophomore guard Cam Selders' layup after picking up an offensive rebound. Redshirt Junior guard Cam Hamilton would then go on to sink a trey, assisted by Brown. Hamilton then put away a layup after forcing UAH into a turnover, and finally Brown got the and-one inside the paint to bring the score to 53-44 in favor of UAH.

The Blazer offense saw a flash of hope with Owens draining a three-pointer with 13:12 left in the game and Brown putting away another trey to bring the Blazers within five, 55-50. After UAH put away a pair of free throws, Brown again capitalized on the other end of the court with another three-pointer, pulling VSU within 57-53.

Later, Hamilton brought the game back within one, 71-70 by making a layup, and Brown tied the game at 73 with another trey with 33 seconds left.

After a timeout by head coach Mike Helfer, UAH's CJ Williams made a layup and Max Shulman put away a pair of free throws to give UAH the win, 77-73.

Selders led the Blazers' rebounding efforts recording six rebounds and went 2 of 4 from the field and 1 of 2 at the free-throw line. Hamilton finished the evening going 7 of 18 from the field, 4 of 12 beyond the arc and recorded five rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Junior forward Michael Cole had a perfect night at the free throw line, going 2 of 2 from the line, 2 of 4 from the field and had three rebounds. Owens finished the game with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two thefts.

VSU went 26 of 61 from the field and 15 of 38 from beyond the arc for a 42.6 field-goal percentage. The Blazers forced UAH into 13 turnovers, resulting in 23 points off turnovers and the Blazer bench put up 28 points.