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UWA hoops teams fall to Blazers

VALDOSTA, Ga.- Mike Crain led all scorers with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including 4-of-9 from long range, as Valdosta State (11-6, 3-3 GSC) outlasted West Alabama 87-77 on Saturday night.

Both teams had no trouble finding offense in the first half; with VSU shooting 57.7 percent from the floor and West Alabama shooting 53.3 percent, as the Blazers held a slim 44-41 lead at the break. The second half would see both teams’ shooting drop dramatically (UWA-44.4 percent and VSU-39.3 percent), however Valdosta State got to the free throw line 28 times in the second half and connected on 19 of them.

Kareem Ward hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor to pace the Tigers with 15 points. Kevin Murphy turned in a good night, narrowly missing a triple-double with 14 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Junior Jared Hembree made 4-of-7 shots from long range en route to scoring 13, while Toby Coleman and Stan Gill chipped in with 11 points each.

Jon Rogers also turned in a big night for VSU, finishing with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Jon Banks, J.T. Thomas and Will Thompson contributed nine points each for the Blazers.

The Tigers move to 8-7 on the season (1-4 in GSC play). West Alabama will be in action again on Monday when they travel to West Florida for a 7:30 p.m., tip-off.

VALDOSTA, Ga.- West Alabama shot 43.1 percent from the floor, made 15-of-17 free throws and had four players finish in double figures in scoring, however Candice Ferrell hit 8-of-11 shots from the field for a game-high 22 points to lead Valdosta State (13-4, 4-1 GSC) to a 78-71 win over West Alabama on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Blazers jumped out to a big 38-24 halftime advantage on the strength of 55.6 percent shooting (15-27) from the floor, while limiting the Tigers to 9-of-29 shooting (31 percent) in the opening half. West Alabama got the offense on track in the second half, connecting on 16-of-29 shots en route to outscoring VSU 47-40 in the second frame.

Senior Veronica Lee came off of the UWA bench to lead all Tiger scorers with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. Ashton Washington added 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting, while senior Emily Nalls chipped in a double-double consisting of 10 points and a game-high 10 boards. Amanda DuBose rounded out the top UWA performers with 10 points.

Ferrell added a team leading nine rebounds for VSU, while teammate Traci Newton hit 6-of-11 shots from the field on her way to scoring 14 points. Nichole Jernigan added 12 points and a game leading five assists for the Lady Blazers.

The Tigers move to 7-10 on the season (2-3 in GSC play). West Alabama will be in action again on Monday when they travel to West Florida for a 5:30 p.m., tip-off.