FORT VALLEY, Ga. (VSU ATHLETICS) — Sophomore guard DJ Mitchell scored a career-high 19 points, and the Blazers shot 43.1 % (22-51) from the field to defeat the Fort Valley Wildcats, 69-61 Saturday evening to round out the Gulf South Conference/ Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Challenge in Fort Valley, Georgia. The Blazers improve to 1-1 on the year while the Wildcats fall to 0-2.
Mitchell, a transfer from Florida International University, recorded a career-high 19 points on the evening in addition to seven rebounds and a block. Previously at FIU, Mitchell recorded 14 points against North Florida on December 12, 2021.
Junior transfer Michael Cole recorded his first double-double as a Blazer, picking up 18 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks, one assist and went five of eight from the field in 29 minutes.
Seven Blazers reached the score column including, junior Jalcolbey Owens with 10, redshirt junior Cam Hamilton with eight, juniors Maurice Gordon with seven, junior Mohamed Fofana with four and sophomore Cam Selders with three.
Rob Kendrick led the Wildcats with 16 points and went six out of 15 from the field and three of seven outside the arc. Ty'Reek Johnson recorded eight rebounds for FVSU with two defensive rebounds and six offensive rebounds.
VSU and FVSU stayed neck and neck throughout most of the game. The Wildcats ended the first half with a slight advantage over the Blazers, 29-26. VSU shot nine of 28 (32.1%) from the field and posted a 53.3 free throw percentage in the first 20 minutes of action.
Early in the second half, the Blazers tied the game at 31 with a three-pointer from Hamilton catalyzed from Selders and jumpstarted VSU's offense. The Blazers shot 56.5 percent from the field in the second half and 40% outside the arc. Owens rounded out the scoring for the Blazers with a made free throw and brought the final score to 69-61 in favor of VSU.
The Blazers went 43.1% from the field, 12.5% outside the arc, recorded 40 rebounds and season highs with 23 free throws and eight blocked shots for the match.
The Blazers are back in action for their home opener against Clayton State on Tuesday, November 16, at 8 p.m. inside the Complex.
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