VALDOSTA, Ga. – Behind five players in double figures and a season-high 27 points from senior Darrell Jones, the Valdosta State men's basketball team downed visiting Mississippi College 99-81 Thursday evening at The Complex for its fourth-straight victory.
VSU (11-3, 5-2 Gulf South Conference) saw Jones go 10 of 16 from the field with two triples and 5 of 6 from the line with three assists and a season-high five steals in the victory. Senior Clay Guillozet added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while sophomore Imoras Agee chipped in 14 points and senior Bryce Smith added 12 points. Sophomore Cam Hamilton added 15 points off the bench with a team-high six steals.
As a team, VSU shot 46.8 percent for the game on 37 of 79, while going 7 of 19 from range and 18 of 23 from the line. MC shot 44.4 percent for the game on 28 of 63, while the Choctaws were 6 of 16 from range and 19 of 21 from the line. MC held a 47-26 lead in rebounding, but VSU's 15 steals and forced 25 turnovers in the contest, leading to a 35-16 advantage in points off turnovers proved to be one of the differences in the contest.
The Choctaws (6-7, 2-5 GSC) were led by 22 points from Winceton Edwards off the bench on 7 of 16 from the floor, 2 of 5 from range and 6 of 7 from the line leading four players in double figures. TJ Ben added 16 points and Zach Jones had a double-double with 12 rebounds and 10 points.
VSU extended its winning streak to seven games versus Mississippi College and 20-17 since Jan. 10, 1983. The Blazers have won the past four meetings at home in the series.
Neither team gained much of an advantage in a very physical game in the early going. A jumper from redshirt freshman Jakari Gallon gave VSU a 28-26 lead with 6:11 left in the first half for a lead it would never relinquish, as it began 23-10 run for the rest of the half and a 49-36 lead at intermission.
The first half saw a lot of fouls (23) and the teams were a combined 16 of 21 at the line as VSU was 10 of 14 from the stripe and MC was 6 of 7. Jones had 16 points in the first half for the Blazers, while Edwards had 12 for the Choctaws. For the game, there were 43 fouls between the two teams and they went a combined 37 of 44 from the line.
In the second half, Agee scored on a layup with 14:03 left for a 60-48 lead beginning a 21-0 run for a 79-48 lead with 10:03 left as the Blazers picked up the pace and got a lot of each buckets in transition.
The Choctaws cut the deficit back to 18 with a triple from Jon Harding in the final seconds for the 99-81 score.
VSU continues at home on Saturday at 4 p.m. versus rival Delta State at The Complex. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming, ticket information and more at vstateblazers.com on the men's basketball schedule page. The game will be broadcast on 92.1 WDDQ with Mike Chason having the call.