VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Valdosta State men's basketball team dropped an 88-74 decision to Lee University Tuesday evening in Gulf South Conference play. VSU fell to 7-3 on the year and 2-2 in league play, while Lee improved to 8-3 and 3-1 in conference play.
The Blazers were led by 21 points from senior Bryce Smith as he tallied eight rebounds and one triple, while going 8 of 11 from the line leading three players in double figures. Seniors Darrell Jones and Clay Guillozet each had double-doubles as Jones had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Guillozet had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The shots wouldn't drop for the Blazers as they were 28 of 70 from the field for 40 percent, while going 5 of 23 from beyond the arc and 13 of 18 from the line VSU led 44-34 in points in the paint and 14-11 in second chance points.
Lee was led by 16 points from Ryan Montgomery as five players scored in double figures. The Flames shot 47.1 percent for the game, including 16 of 29 from the field in the second half for 55.2 percent as Lee outscored VSU 49-34 in the second stanza. The Flames were 11 of 24 from beyond the arc and 7 of 11 in the second half from range alone.
A triple from Kentrell Evans pushed the lead to 32-22 for Lee with 7:50 left in the first half. The Blazers closed the half on a 18-7 run for a 40-39 lead at intermission. Blazer senior Tyler Edwards had a fast break layup with 17 seconds left in the half for the first VSU lead since 7-6 with 16:15 left in the half.
The Blazers built the lead out to eight at 61-53 with 12:21 left capped with a layup from Smith, but Lee began knocking down shots and cut the deficit to two at 61-59 with 11:05 remaining. VSU had the answer and quickly pushed the lead back to eight, but a 10-0 run by the Flames tied the game at 69 with 6:58 left.
Lee extended the run to 15-0 with five quick points from Montgomery for a 74-69 lead for the visitors with 5:30 left. Jones hit two free throws for a 74-72 deficit for the Blazer with 4:32 left, but it'd be as close as VSU would get. Lee closed the game on a 14-2 run, as VSU didn't score a field goal in the final 4:42.
VSU returns to action on Thursday at 8 p.m. in a non-conference matchup with Thomas University at The Complex to complete the 2019 portion of the schedule.