The basketball season at Valdosta State is officially over.
The men’s basketball season came to an end in dramatic fashion Sunday evening when the Blazers lost a heartbreaker to Christian Brothers in the Gulf South Conference championship game.
The women’s came to an end later in the night, when the Lady Blazers failed to receive a bid to the NCAA South Region tournament.
Trying to capture the school’s first-ever men’s Gulf South Conference basketball championship, the Blazers fell to the Christian Brothers Buccaneers 65-62 in the conference championship game in Birmingham, Ala.
Despite out-rebounding the Buccaneers 41-23 in the game, the Blazers found themselves trailing late in the second half, after digging themselves out of a 13-point halftime deficit.
Trailing 65-62 with 3.5 seconds remaining, VSU’s Patrick Diop missed the front-end of a pair of free throws, before he missed the second shot intentionally to set up a possible game-tying 3-pointer.
Senior Josh Sparks made the rebound off Diop’s intentional miss and kicked it out to Shaquille Harris, whose desperation 3-pointer clanked off the rim as time expired.
The Blazers ended their season as Gulf South Conference runner-ups with a 19-10 record, a year after being routed by 31 points in the GSC tourney by the Buccaneers.
Sparks and Harris, both seniors, each finished with a team-high 15 points to lead the Blazers. Diop contributed with 12 points, and Alan Love finished with 10 points.
For Christian Brothers, five players scored in double figures on the night. Sophomore Trey Casey led the Buccaneers with 19 points.
The Blazers and Buccaneers were basically even throughout the opening minutes as the teams were tied at 10.
From there, Christian Brothers went on a 10-0 run to grab a 20-10 lead over the Blazers, who responded with a 6-0 run of their own to make the score 20-16.
That’s the closest the Blazers got in the first half. The Buccaneers reeled off a 17-8 run to end the first half to grab a 37-24 halftime lead.
Valdosta State used a pair of 3-pointers from Harris to close within seven, before Christian Brothers managed back-to-back field goals to lead 41-30. Then, VSU put together and impressive 11-2 run to close its deficit to 43-41.
Sparks carried the run, scoring seven points, while Love and Harris also added field goals. Christian Brothers eventually pushed its lead back to eight, 54-46, with under eight minutes to play, making three 3-pointers from long range.
Valdosta State closed back within two, 56-54, with five minutes remaining.
The Blazers’ run was aided by free throws. Diop made four free throws, while Harris made a pair during the run. Then, James Anacreon finished off a 3-point play — his only points of the game — which started with his steal, to make the score 56-54.
Christian Brothers pushed its lead back to five, before Harris banked a shot off the glass to bring the score to 61-58.
VSU’s deficit went back to five and then back to three after the teams swapped baskets. Then, with 11.4 seconds remaining, the Diop made a layup. Trailing 63-62, the Blazers were forced to foul, sending Christian Brothers to the free throw line.
The Buccaneers made both free throws — they were just 6-of-6 in the game — and led 65-62.
The Blazers played the majority of the game without junior David Murray, who left with an apparent knee injury early in the first half.
Upon leaving, Murray was seen sitting on the end of the bench with ice on his knee. He did not return.
The Lady Blazers’ season ended Friday when they were routed by eventual GSC champion Alabama-Huntsville in the tournament quarterfinals. They ended the season with a 16-11 record.
Blazers fall in GSC title game; Lady Blazers fail to receive NCAA bid
The basketball season at Valdosta State is officially over.
- Blazers Blog
VSU softball wins South Region, headed to nationals
For the third time in four years, and second in a row, Valdosta State’s softball team will play in the national championship tournament.
The Blazers won their third South Region championship Saturday, beating Alabama-Huntsville 8-3 in game three of the best-of-three series at Steel’s Diamond at Blazer Park.
VSU baseball season comes to an end
Delta State scored seven unanswered runs to defeat Valdosta State 7-2 in an elimination game of the NCAA South Region Tournament at the UT Baseball Field Saturday afternoon.
Blazers host respected rival UAH in Super Regional
One would expect a matchup featuring two of the top softball programs in Division II to come in the national championship game.
Unfortunately for Valdosta State and Alabama-Huntsville, who have combined to appear in four straight national championship games, they won’t be meeting in title game on Memorial Day in Salem, Va.
Blazers lose to Delta State, fall to loser’s bracket
If the Valdosta State baseball team is going to win the South Region Tournament, the Blazers going to have to do it from the loser’s bracket.
The Blazers (33-17) dropped their first game of the tournament Thursday, falling to Delta State 4-2 at UT Baseball Stadium.
VSU will face Stillman College, which lost to No. 1 seed and tournament host Tampa Thursday, Friday at 11 a.m. to advance to the weekend portion of the tournament. The loser will be eliminated.
Former Lady Blazer Ferguson hired to lead Vikettes
The sign above the door still has Shan Garner’s name on it. There is even a Shan Garner plaque sitting on one of the shelves in the corner of the gymnasium office.
That will soon change, though, as Lowndes has hired its newest girls’ basketball coach.
VSU wins 7th GSC Men’s All-Sports Trophy
Look out Title Town, another trophy is coming to town.
Valdosta State’s athletic department was awarded a seventh Gulf South Conference Men’s All-Sports Trophy Tuesday, sharing the honor with West Florida.
The tie between VSU and West Florida marked the first time in the GSC’s 42-year history that a pair of schools shared the honor. Both schools finished the athletic season with 29.5 points, based on the conference’s point system that gauges athletic success.
Baseball Heading to Tampa for NCAA Regional Play
The Valdosta State baseball team learned Sunday night that it will open the 2013 NCAA South Region Tournament against Delta State at the UT Baseball Field on the campus of the University of Tampa.
Soccer and Women’s Basketball team up for BoostHER Golf Tournament
Registration is now available for the annual BoostHER golf tournament to be held on Thursday, May 23rd.
VSU softball beats Tampa, 12-6, to host Super Regional
Kiley Rusen picked a good time to have a career breakout day for the Valdosta State softball team. Slugging her first-career home run and triple, while driving in six runs, Rusen led the charge as the Blazers routed Tampa 12-6 to advance to a second straight NCAA South Super Regional Tournament.
Late homers lift Blazers to South Region 1 final
Valdosta State’s softball team is one win away. One more win and the Blazers will be heading back to the NCAA South Super Regional for the third time in the last four years.
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- VSU softball wins South Region, headed to nationals