Courtesy of VSU athletics:
VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State overcame a slow start as the Blazers defeated Lambuth 83-63 in non-conference men's basketball action at the P.E. Complex Saturday afternoon.
The Blazers (21-2) connected on just five of their first 21 field goals and turned the ball over 13 times over the course of the first 14 of play to fall behind 32-16 with six to go in the first half. Meanwhile, Lambuth (12-8) connected on 15 of 28 shots during the span and committed just five turnovers while registering four steals.
Valdosta State began its comeback with a Tyrone Curnell dunk before Tristan Crawford added a pair of free throws. Ricardo Lewis added two more free throws and Kevin Harris scored on a three-point play, as Valdosta State cut its deficit to 32-25 with 3:15 remaining in the half.
The Eagles rebounded to score five of the next seven points to push their advantage back to double digits, only to have VSU respond with the final five points of the half to trail 37-32 at the intermission.
Valdosta State quickly took the lead in the second half as it scored the first 12 points of the half. Charles Belton began the run with a lay-up before Marvin Dibble hit one of two free throws. Lewis evened the game with a fast break lay-up while Belton gave the Blazers their first lead on a put-back basket before hitting one of two free throws. Crawford closed out the run with a jumper and a fast break lay-up to put VSU in front 44-37 with 15:04 to go in the game.
Lambuth got as close as two points two minutes later only to have Valdosta State score 10 straight points. The Valdosta State lead got no lower than nine points the rest of the game, topping off at 20 on a Dibble dunk with a minute to play for the final points of the game.
After committing the 13 early turnovers, VSU committed just three more the rest of the game while forcing Lambuth into 13 over the final 27 minutes of play. The Blazer shooting also picked up as they followed their five-of-21 start by hitting 25 of their final 45 attempts. Meanwhile, the Eagles connected on just 11 of their final 49 attempts.
Curnell led VSU with 19 points and 10 rebounds for his eight double-double of the season. Lewis added 14 points and four assists against just one turnover. Valdosta State shot 45.5 percent from the floor and owned a 52-43 advantage in rebounding.
Paul Kohlheim paced the Eagles with 12 points while Jayvonte Hughes pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.
The Blazers return to action Wednesday, February 10 at 8:00 p.m. as it travels to Pensacola, Fla. to face GSC foe West Florida.