Junior forward Drew Maynard scored a team high 16 points to lead the Blazers to a 60-56 victory over the Augusta State Jaguars Wednesday night at The Complex.
The Jaguars who were losing by 16 at one point came back late in the second half to cut the Blazer lead to two points.
The Blazers managed to the weather the late rally long enough to secure the win.
VSU redeemed itself in front of its home crowd after losing 51-69 against Saint Leo in the home opener Nov 15.
“The last time we played at home it was kinda embarassing,” Maynard said. “I just wanted to make sure we didn’t do that again. The fans are great and we want them to keep coming back.”
Both teams came into this non conference matchup coming off wins in their last game.
The Blazers made 50 percent of their field goals in the first half including going 4-8 behind the arc.
Augusta State’s defense wouldn’t have an answer for the Blazers going into halftime down by 10 points.
The Blazers defense deserves credit for their comfortable lead at the half tallying up a staggering six blocks.
VSU, by extending it’s lead even more in the second half, gave the impression that its victory would safely be secured without a doubt.
VSU head coach Mike Helfner wasn’t surprised that the Jaguars continued to play hard regardless of the score.
“Well they’re a great team, a great program, and you know they weren’t gonna die,” Helfner said.
The Jaguars kept fighting going on unanswered scoring runs that began their late comeback rally.
Blazer point guard Michael Panaggio had a chance to ice the game in the final minute, but missed both crucial free throws.
Augusta State failed to take advantage of the opportunity to tie up the game late after getting the ball back.
The Jaguars forced to desperately foul put Panaggio back on the line where he would redeem himself making both his free throws in the last seconds to seal the win.
The Blazers clicked on offense Wednesday night finishing the game shooting 47 percent Tristan Steele and Chris Rozier added to the offensive attack with 12 points each.
“We wanted to go hard and go smart,” Helfner said.
Augusta State head coach Dip Metresss was pleased the way his team fought back despite the loss.
“Tough loss, they toughed us out the first 32 minutes and we lost to a good basketball team,” Metress said.
Valdosta State travels to Saint Leo for their next game on December 3 to rematch against the Saint Leo Lions.