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Blazers try to get back on track

January has been a tough month for the men’s basketball squad. After trouncing Delta State 81-61 on Jan. 5, the team has gone on to lose their last three games.

The Blazers look to break their losing streak tonight when they travel to Livingston, Ala., to take on division rivals, the West Ala. Tigers in their third straight away game before returning home this weekend to take on in-state rivals West Georgia.

The trouble started when the Blazers faced off against the No. 1 GSC ranked Christian Brothers (13- 2) and lost a nail biter in overtime 80-79 on Saturday,
Jan. 7.

Tristan Steele was the leading scorer for the Blazers with 28 points coming on a 52.3 shooting percentage in 42 minutes of play.

VSU played Christian Brothers hard all game long, taking the game into overtime. Dennis Scott of Christian Brothers hit a free throw to put his team up two with 10 seconds remaining. A missed free throw by Josh Sparks in the last second sealed the Blazers’ fate.

The next setback in VSU’s young season came at the hands of the No. 14 ranked team in Division II (No. 2 in GSC), Alabama-Huntsville. This was the first game of a tough three game road stint.

The Alabama-Huntsville Chargers built a 46-37 advantage at halftime on the two points and eight assists of Josh Magette. The Blazers fell to the Chargers to the final score of 86-72.

Josh Sparks did move into third place all-time on the VSU blocked shots list in the game with 118 career blocks.

VSU continued its three game road swing Saturday against the 9-6 North Alabama Lions. The Blazers went into the game with 32 wins out of the sixty all-time meetings with the UNA Lions.

The game would end in more disappointment for the Blazers as they dropped their third straight game, 84-70. VSU dropped to 7-7 on the season following the loss, and are in danger of missing out of the NCAA tournament this year.

Tonight the Blazers will be looking to continue their recent streak of success against West Alabama. Last season VSU won both of its meetings against the Tigers by a combined eight and a half points.

Following the showdown with West Alabama, the Blazers will attempt to pick up steam for their postseason push against rival West Georgia at home on Saturday. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. in the Complex.

The Lady Blazers are ready to get back to their winning ways tonight when they take on West Alabama in GSC conference play. The team has suffered two straight close losses after going on a nine win streak that started way back at the end of November.

Last Thursday, VSU headed to Florence, Ala., to take on GSC ranked No. 1 Alabama-Huntsville. Both squads were unbeaten in GSC play going into game, but the Lady Chargers prevailed over VSU in the end with a final score of 73-69.

Despite an impressive first half rally by the Lady Blazers who shot 51.3 percent from the field for 44 points, their performance fell off in the second half where they only shot 25 percent for 25 points.

Brittany Ferguson continued to produce for the team, shooting for 27 points and tallying 19 rebounds. She has also been honored with three GSC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week awards so far this season.

The Lady Blazers were handed their second loss in a row on Saturday when they fell to the University of North Alabama Lions 76-69 in overtime.

Team discipline and lack of production from the free throw line ultimately hurt the Lady Blazers, who shot only nine free throws off 11 fouls compared to the 37 tries that the Lions produced off of 24 VSU fouls.

The Lions handed the Lady Blazers their fourth loss of the season (second in row in GSC play) bringing their record to 11-4 while the Lions improved to 10-5 (2-2 in GSC play). The two teams, along with West Georgia, are now tied for fourth place overall in the Gulf South Conference.

The Lady Blazers will finish off their road trip tonight when they face off against the University of West Alabama Tigers in their fifth conference game in a row. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.

VSU will return to the Complex this Saturday to take on West Georgia in what is sure to be a riveting match that could shift the rankings as both teams are sitting at 2-2 in conference play. Tip-off for this game will be at 6 p.m.

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