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No. 6 Blazers Turn Back Union in Gulf South Conference Opener

No. 6 Blazers Turn Back Union in Gulf South Conference Opener
Posted at 12:09 AM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 00:09:00-05

THE BASICS:

SCORE:#6 Valdosta State 91, Union 80

RECORDS:Valdosta State 6-0 (1-0 GSC), Union 4-3 (0-1 GSC)

LOCATION:Valdosta, Ga. (The Complex)

THE LEAD:The No. 6-ranked Valdosta State men's basketball team was pushed Thursday evening by an upset-minded Union University squad, but big shots and a game-high 26 points from senior Beau Justice helped VSU fend off the Bulldogs, 91-80.  

 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Union controlled the early going in the game as VSU played catchup for much of the first 10 minutes of the contest.
  • Two free throws by senior Greg Zuppas broke the fifth tie of the half, giving VSU a 24-23 lead with 9:10 left in the half.
  • A triple from Payton Stovall, who had team-high 23 points and five triples for the Bulldogs, gave the lead back to Union moments later.
  • Following the sixth tie of the half, Union used a 10-4 run capped with two charity tosses from Stovall for a 39-30 lead with 3:43 left in the half.
  • VSU had the answer as it used a 10-0 run capped with a triple from senior Winston Morgan and a 40-39 lead with 1:26 remaining.
  • The Blazers tied the game, for the seventh time, on a pair of free throws from senior Desmond DeRamus at 42, but a jumper from Samory Gueye with three seconds left gave Union the halftime advantage at 44-42.
  • Once again, Union led for much of the first 10 minutes of the second, but a steal from DeRamus and a fastbreak layup from Justice started a string of seven-straight points from Justice for a 61-55 lead with 13:18 left, giving VSU the lead for good.
  • Back-to-back triples from junior Darrell Jones and Morgan gave the Blazers a 72-62 lead with 9:29 remaining as the Blazers began to heat up from downtown.
  • Four quick points from Union cut the deficit to six at 81-75 with 3:21 remaining, but a layup from Jones and a bucket from DeRamus pushed the lead back to double-digits for a 91-80 win.

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Justice had 26 points to lead all-scorers on 9 of 18 from the field, while hitting two triples and draining 6 of 8 free throws.  
  • Jones added 19 points on 7 of 15 from the field with two triples and three free throws, to go along with eight rebounds to lead the team.  Junior Clay Guillozet added 17 points on 5 of 10 from the field and 7 of 8 from the line.
  • VSU shot an even 50 percent for the game on 30 of 60, while going 7 of 18 from beyond the arc and 24 of 31 from the line.  
  • Union was led by 23 points from Stovall, while Gueye added 15 points and Terrandus Smith chipped in 12.
  • The Bulldogs shot 52.5 percent for the game on 32 of 61, while going 9 of 24 from beyond the arc, but were just 7 of 13 from the line.
  • VSU forced 15 miscues by the Bulldogs leading to a 19-7 lead in points off turnovers.
  • The game saw seven ties and 12 lead changes.

 

UP NEXT: 

  • The Blazers continue at home on Saturday at The Complex versus Christian Brothers at 8 p.m.. 
  • Fans who attend the VSU football game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium will be admitted free to the basketball doubleheader Saturday evening with their football ticket stub.