SCORE:#11 Valdosta State 127, Albany State 92
RECORDS: Valdosta State 4-0, Albany State 0-3
LOCATION:Valdosta, Ga. (The Complex)
THE LEAD: Behind six players in double figures and shooting a season-high 62.3 percent, the No. 11 Valdosta State men's basketball torched Albany State 127-92 Thursday evening. VSU graduate Beau Justice tallied 26 points, six assists, two triples and 8 of 9 from the line to lead the team.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Blazers raced out to an early 9-0 lead through the first 3:35 of the game, but Albany State quickly erased the deficit with an 11-2 run for an 11-11 score capped with a dunk from Mario Young with 16 minutes left in the first half.
- From there, VSU quickly regained the lead and then, with a 17-15 advantage, a jumper from junior Bryce Smith sparked a 12-2 run by the Blazers for a 29-17 lead with ten minutes left in the half.
- An "and one" from senior Greg Zupas stretched the lead to 16, but ASU cut the deficit back to 12 twice with a triple from Jonathan Henderson at 40-28 with 6:12 left.
- From there, VSU scored 20 more points for a season-high 60 at halftime as it stretched the lead to as many as 21 on a pair of free throws from senior Winston Morgan and settled for a 60-43 lead at intermission.
- Junior Darrell Jones used an "and one" for a then-game-high 23-point cushion with 16:57 left at 71-48.
- ASU's Terrance Whitaker hit a triple to cut the deficit to 20, but it would be as close as the Golden Rams would get at 73-53 with 15:32 left.
- An 8-1 run ensued for the Blazers and an 81-53 lead with 12:28 left on a jumper from junior Goree Venable.
- Ingram buried a triple for a 101-70 lead with 7:34 left putting VSU over the century mark for the first time this season.
- From the 8:06 mark until the 4:45 mark, VSU outscored ASU 20-5 for a 115-75 lead, marking the largest margin of the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- In the first half, VSU shot 61.8 percent from the field on 21 of 34, while going 8 of 15 from beyond the arc and 10 of 12 from the line.
- Three Blazers were in double figures in the first half as Justice had 19 for the stanza on 7 of 9 from the floor with two triples and 3 of 3 from the line, while graduate Keshawn Ingram had 10 off the bench and Morgan had 15 points with a team-high three triples.
- ASU shot 46.2 percent on 18 of 39, while going 3 of 7 from beyond the arc and went to the line just five times, making four for the opening stanza, while both teams had 18 rebounds, but VSU had an 11-6 lead in points off turnovers.
- For the game, the 127 points is the most since VSU scored 139 in a triple overtime win over Montevallo last season (Dec. 16). It was the most points in 40-minute game since scoring exactly 127 against North Alabama (W, 127-115) on Dec. 3, 2015.
- Ingram scored 20 points off the bench on 7 of 12 from the field with a team-high five triples, while Morgan added 18 points on 5 of 10 from the field with four triples, four free throws and five assists.
- Senior Clay Guillozet added 15 points, while graduate Desmond DeRamus chipped in 10 and Smith had 13 off the bench, going a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and one triple.
- VSU shot a season-best 62.3 percent for the game, scoring 60 points in the first half and 67 in the second half – both season-highs on a season-best 43 of 69 from the field.
- The Blazers were 16 of 29 from range (.552) and 25 of 31 from the line (.806). VSU held a slim 36-34 lead in rebounding.
- ASU shot 51.4 percent on 37 of 72, while going 7 of 16 from beyond the arc and 11 of 16 from the line. The Blazers forced 15 miscues by the Golden Rams, leading to a 30-8 lead in points off turnovers.
- Four ASU players had double-digit scoring as three scored 17 points each.
- VSU wins the season-series with the Golden Rams 2-0, after winning in Albany, Ga., last week in both team's season-openers, 78-72.
- The Blazers continue their home stand Monday against Brewton-Parker at The Complex at 7:30 p.m.
- Following that, VSU will have ten days off for the Thanksgiving Holiday before opening the 2018-19 Gulf Coast Conference slate with Union and Christian Brothers at The Complex Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, respectively.
- Fans can purchase tickets now for the games online at vstateblazers.com, visiting the VSU Athletic Ticket Office or calling 229-333-SEAT.