VALDOSTA, GA. – Senior forward Marcus Watts scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Valdosta State University came away with a 97-78 win over Florida Gulf Coast University Tuesday night in NCAA Division II South Region men’s basketball action.
VSU junior guard Mike Crain poured in a game-high 30 points, as he connected on 9-of-13 from the field, including five three-pointers and went 7-of-7 from the foul line as the Blazers (9-2) won for the seventh straight time. Jon Rogers, Jeremy Bloomfield and JT Thomas had 14 points each as VSU hit 54.2% of its shots, including 14-of-23 (60.9%) from beyond the three-point arc.
Junior guard Beau Bauer had 15 points and senior forward Leon Woodstock 12 points for FGCU (8-5 overall, 6-4 South Region), which shot 44% from the field, but just 3-of-17 (17.6%) from three-point territory.
Valdosta State blazed out to a 12-point halftime lead, 55-43, on the strength of 11 three-pointers, including four by Crain. It was the most points allowed by FGCU in any half this season, and the second straight game the Eagles gave up 50 or more points in the first half.
The Eagles started the second half on a 7-1 run to cut the lead to six, 56-50. VSU responded with a 15-7 run to push the lead to 14 and FGCU would come no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.