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Blazers fall to Montevallo in Thursday Night Heartbreaker, 94-89

Blazers fall to Montevallo in Thursday Night Heartbreaker, 94-89
Posted at 11:04 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 23:04:53-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (VALDOSTA STATE ATHLETICS) — The Valdosta State men's basketball team lost a 94-89 heartbreaker to Montevallo on Thursday night, 94-89

With the loss, The Blazers are now 17-10 overall and 13-8 in the Gulf South Conference while Montevallo improved to 10-16 overall and 8-14 in conference play.

Overall, Valdosta was 31 of 68 (45.6%) from the field, 7 of 21 (33.3%) from deep and 20 of 28 (71.4%) from the line while Montevallo shot 29 of 61 (47.5%) from the field, 11 of 28 (39.3%) from distance and 25 of 31 (80.6%) from the stripe.

Redshirt senior Cam Hamilton led a total of five Blazers in double-digit scoring with 20 points on 7 of 15 from the field, 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. Senior Jacolbey Owens and junior Jay Rucker each chipped in 18 while Rucker had a game-high nine rebounds. Owens finished with ten assists on the night.

Montevallo had four players in double digits led by Braxton Bertolette, who scored a game-high 30 points on 10 of 15 from the field, 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and 6 of 6 from the charity stripe. James McNeil added 25 for the Falcons, while Mason Shifflett pitched in 17.

To begin the first half, the Blazers started out fast as a layup from Rucker and a corner triple from Hamilton put the Blazers up 5-0 within the first 1:10 of the contest. However, UM was not going to quit that easily as it fought back to make the game 10-9 with 15:22 remaining in the half following a deep shot from Bertolette. Later in the half, Montevallo took the lead with a cut-in layup and a three-pointer to put the Falcons up 14-10 with 14:16 remaining.

The Falcons took a double-digit lead midway through the half after a layup from Kendon Knight for a 24-13 lead with 10:16 left. Throughout the remainder of the half, the Blazers attempted to cut into the deficit, but the Falcons continued to answer time after time. The Falcons held a 45-35 lead at intermission.

For the first half, VSU shot 13 of 39 (33.3%) from the field, 2 of 11 (18.2%) from distance and 7 of 11 (63.3%) from the line while Montevallo shot 17 of 37 (45.9%) from the field, 5 of 15 (33.3%) from beyond the arc, and 6 of 8 (75%) from the stripe.

The Blazers answered out of the gate in the second half with a quick jumper from Owens to bring the Montevallo lead down to eight, 45-37. However, the Falcons answered right back with a three-point shot and a layup to put Montevallo up 50-37 with 17:56 remaining in the game.

Later in the half, the Blazer began to rally behind an "and one" from junior Caden Boser and a pair of triples from graduate student Ryan Black to pull the Blazers within two, 69-67, with 10:06 remaining. With 7:39 remaining in the game, VSU caught up to the Falcons following a dunk from Rucker to tie the game, 75. The Blazers and Falcons traded back buckets back and forth, but VSU could never gain the lead. By the final buzzer, the Blazers fell to the Falcons, 94-89.

The Blazers return to The Complex to face off with Auburn Montgomery at 4 p.m. on Saturday, for the final regular season home game of the year. Saturday will also serve as Senior Day as five outstanding seniors will be playing their final regular season home game in a Blazer uniform.