Jan. 17, 2010

VALDOSTA, Ga. - No. 11 Valdosta State shot 55.4 percent for the game and dealt the Jaguars its first loss of the season with an 81-75 victory over top-ranked Augusta State Saturday in a non-conference matchup in Valdosta, Ga.

For the Jags, senior guard Fred Brathwaite led the team booking a double-double with a game-high 25 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Seniors Ben Madgen and Alex Smith added 18 points each. .

Tyrone Curnell led the Blazers with 23 points and nine rebounds while also dishing out three assists and blocking two shots. Kevin Harris poured in 18 points, in just 16 minutes of action, while Ricardo Lewis added 13.

With the victory, the Blazers improved to 16-2 overall, while the loss dropped ASU to 14-1 on the season.

Madgen opened the scoring with a jumper for Augusta State. Smith scored on a dunk with 17:14 to go in the first half to give the Jaguars their final lead of the game as VSU scored the next nine points of the contest to put Valdosta State up 11-4.

ASU fought back, tying the game at 11 a minute later, only to have the Blazers respond with 16-6 spurt to grab the lead for good. Madgen kept the Jaguars in the game with a pair of baskets, but Billy McShepard added a lay-up for VSU and Lewis hit a three with 8:10 remaining in the half to put VSU up 27-17.

ASU responded with a run of its own and closed to within 31-28 over the closing minutes of the half, only to have Valdosta State score eight of the final nine points of the frame to grab a 39-29 halftime lead.

Augusta State came out hot in the second half as it connected on seven of its first 11 shots of the frame. A Brathwaite jumper just two and a half minutes into the half, cut the Jaguar deficit to three points. Valdosta State parried the run with one of its own as it scored 10 out of the next 14 for a 51-42 lead with 14:44 remaining.

The final ASU run of the night saw the Jaguars close to within three with 1:13 to play, but Curnell scored on a lay-up and Lewis connected on three-of-four free throws to seal the victory.

The Blazers shot 55.4 percent from the floor in the game and committed just eight turnovers. The Jags shot 47.3 percent from the field and owned the rebounding edge 32-29.

The No. 1 Jags host UNC Pembroke on Wednesday, Jan. 20 for a Peach Belt Conference contest at 7:30 p.m., in Christenberry Fieldhouse.