Score: #11 Valdosta State 93, Tuskegee 81
Records: Valdosta State 3-0, Tuskegee 0-1
Location: Valdosta, Ga. (The Complex)
The Lead: Behind 30 points from graduate Beau Justice and a 50 spot in the first half, the No. 11 Valdosta State men's basketball team opened the 2018-19 home slate with a 93-81 victory over visiting Tuskegee Tuesday evening. Justice paced three Blazers in double figures as both teams shot better than 50 percent in the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- A triple from junior Darrell Jones gave VSU an early 6-2 lead as Tuskegee battled back to tie it at seven with a triple from Myles Thomas and a bucket from Joshua Culver.
- VSU built the lead back to five on a tip-in from senior Greg Zuppas at 14-9 with 16:15 left in the half.
- Back-to-back triples from Tuskegee gave the Golden Tigers their first lead of the game as Thomas drained his second trifecta of the game for a 15-14.
- Two great buckets from junior Goree Venable gave the lead back to VSU as it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the half as the Blazers built the lead to nine on a steal and dunk from graduate Desmond DeRamus for a 27-18 lead with 10:47 left in the half.
- VSU pushed the lead to double-digits with a triple from senior Clay Guillozet at 36-25 with 6:49 left and later, DeRamus buried a triple for the largest lead of the half and a 44-30 lead with 4:10 remaining.
- Out of a timeout with less than three seconds left, Venable scored inside off an assist from graduate Beau Justice for a 50-37 lead at intermission.
- Early in the second half, VSU was unable to extend its lead past 14, but a layup from Jones and a triple from Justice sparked a 12-3 run capped with a jumper in the paint from junior Bryce Smith for a 74-52 lead with 12:08 left.
- Tuskegee cut the deficit to 14 on an "and one" from Cam Grepke with 5:47 left, while a tip-in brought TU within 11 at 86-75 with 4:38 left, however, it would be as close at the Golden Tigers would get.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- For the half, VSU shot an even 50 percent on 19 of 38, while going 6 of 15 from beyond the arc and 6 of 7 from the line.
- DeRamus had a game-high 14 points off the bench for the Blazers on a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and 2 of 2 from beyond the arc. Justice added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in the half.
- Tuskegee also shot 50 percent for the half on 12 of 24, while the Golden Tigers went 3 of 6 from range and 10 of 14 from the line. Thomas had 10 points to lead TU in the half as he was 3 of 3 from the field, 2 of 2 from beyond the arc and 2 of 2 from the line.
- VSU dominated inside, outscoring the Golden Tigers 29-14 in points in the paint, while holding a 12-4 lead in points off turnovers and 13-2 in second chance points. The Blazers forced nine miscues by TU and held a 21-13 lead in rebounding, including 11-5 on the offensive end.
- Justice dropped 30 points for his fourth game of his VSU career of 30 or more points, going 8 of 16 from the field with four triples and was 10 of 13 from the line, while recording seven rebounds and seven assists.
- DeRamus added 16 points on 7 of 9 from the field with two triples, while Jones added 13 points on 5 of 7 from the field with two triples and a free throw.
- VSU shot 51.6 percent for the game on 33 of 64, while going 10 of 25 from beyond the arc (.400) and 17 of 23 from the line.
- The Blazers tallied 40 rebounds and 17 on the offensive end, while recording 17 assists, 12 turnovers, two blocks and nine steals.
- Myles paced the Golden Tigers with 24 points on 7 of 10 from the field, four triples and 6 of 7 from the line.
- TU shot 50.9 percent on 29 of 57, while going 6 of 13 from range and 17 of 24 from the line. The Golden Tigers had 27 rebounds with 11 assists, 13 turnovers, one block and six steals.
- The Golden Tigers pulled closer in the second half in points in the paint for a 49-42 VSU lead, while also cutting the margin in points off turnovers with 11 second half points off VSU miscues for an 18-13 VSU lead.
- The Blazers continue at home as they host the return game against Albany State Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at The Complex.
- VSU downed Albany State 78-72 in the season-opener last weekend for both teams in Albany, Ga.
- The game will be broadcast on 92.1 WDDQ with Mike Chason having the call, while links to live stats, audio/video streaming and ticket information will be available on vstateblazers.com on the men's basketball schedule page.