Courtesy: VSU Athletics
Huntsville, Ala. - Valdosta State lost its first conference game of the season to Alabama-Huntsville by a score of 84-66 to drop to 12-3 overall and 0-1 in the Gulf South Conference.
Leading the way for the Blazers was Tristan Crawford in his return from injury. Crawford put in 13 points and brought down six boards in the game. Ricardo Lewis, Christian Hunter and Ray Cummings each scored 10 points in the losing effort with Marvin Dibble leading the team in rebounds with seven.
Alabama-Huntsville had two scorers reach the twenties and Kael Coleman dropped 17. Cody Jones finished with 24 while Josh Magette put in 22,
18 in the second half. The Chargers scored 44 points in the paint to VSU's 18 and 24 off Valdosta State's 17 turnovers. The Blazers did receive strong production from the bench with 38 points on the night.
Nine minutes into the first half, the UAH Chargers built a 17-12 lead over the Blazers. Not much changed throughout the rest of the half as Alabama-Huntsville took a 35-29 lead into the break.
Despite the UAH lead at halftime, Valdosta State actually held the Chargers without a field goal for a span of eight minutes, but UAH scored nine points in that time period on free throws. Of Alabama-Huntsville's 35 halftime points, 12 were from the charity stripe.
Alabama-Huntsville's Kael Coleman dominated the first half with 15 points. Coleman helped UAH score 18 points in the paint to VSU's eight in the first frame.
To start the second half, Cody Jones started where Coleman left off. He scored nine of the Chargers' first 11 points. VSU began to chip away at the lead though, and then a monstrous dunk by Ray Cummings pulled the Blazers within two at the 14:06 mark.
Later, Ricardo Lewis hit a deep three-pointer to pull within one, but UAH's Josh Magette made a three-point play at the other end to spark the Chargers, who pulled away to make it 57-49. Magette went on to shoot two deep balls from well beyond the three-point line to push the score to 65-51.
After that, the Charger proved to be too much for VSU.
Alabama-Huntsville overwhelmed the Blazers throughout the rest of the game to finish it, 84-66.
Valdosta State will host West Georgia at 6 p.m. Thursday for the team's second conference game.