Written by Gabe Burns, Sports Editor
VSU’s thrilling basketball season was cut short by an 80-73 elimination loss to the Union Bulldogs in the teams’ Gulf South Conference tournament opener.
The theme of the 2015-16 campaign for the GSC was protecting home court. All of the top six seeds had four or less home losses, making the luxury of hosting a playoff game all the more important.
Unfortunately for the Blazers, the Bulldogs are a stellar home team, finishing the regular season 13-1 on their own court. VSU finishes 11-4 at The Complex and 6-6 on the road.
VSU surrendered the lead for the final time with four and a half minutes remaining. Despite out-pacing the Bulldogs for most of the evening, Union’s resiliency resulted in its advancement to the second round.
Blake Justice led VSU with 22 points. Justice ends his Blazer career as the 22nd player in school history to score 1,000 career points. In his final season in black and red, Justice averaged 15.8 points per game (eighth in GSC) and was named to the league’s first-team roster.
As a whole, the season was progress for the Blazers. The 17-11 record presents marked improvement from last season’s 10-18 mark. Finishing with a 13-9 posting against GSC opponents, VSU had its first winning campaign in league play since 2011.