LIVINGSTON, Ala. – Valdosta State's James Anacreon totaled 26 points and 14 rebounds to take down West Alabama 91-88 in overtime on Saturday.
“We really have no one to blame but ourselves,” said head coach Mike Newell.
“We had our opportunities but we missed some free-throws down the stretch and made too many turnovers, but they were able to make their big shots and big plays to win the game. I thought James Anacreon did an excellent job for them. I thought we did a good job of slowing him down in the first half but he came back strong in the second. You cannot stop great players.”
West Alabama trailed the Blazers until the first two minutes of the second half, but were unable to maintain it for long as Valdosta State quickly took command of the score again. The Tigers trailed again until ten minutes remaining in the game. Jack Hill and Jacob Acker combined for a seven point scoring streak to give West Alabama a 62-55 lead with seven minutes left.
Sandy Underwood extended the Tiger lead to nine at the free-throw line with 3:36 remaining. However, James Anacreon went on an eight point scoring run of his own to tie the game at 80 as the final seconds ticked off for regulation.
West Alabama failed to recapture the lead in the extra minutes as the Blazers outscored the Tigers 11-8 in overtime to take home their second Gulf South Conference victory.
“There is still a lot of basketball to be played,” said Newell. “We'll learn from this, regroup and comeback to work on Monday.”
Four Tiger's broke the double-digit scoring mark against the Blazers. Jacob Acker tallied 11 points and Sandy Underwood recorded 13 points. Jack Hill and Steven Samuels both led their team in scoring, hitting 21 points each, giving Samuels his third consecutive 20 point scoring game this season.
The Tigers will now hit the road to face Delta State on January 17 and Christian Brothers on January 19.