For the third time in program history, The University of Alabama in Huntsville men's basketball team captured the Gulf South Conference title as it defeated Valdosta State 94-91 in the 2017 VisitSpaceCoast.com GSC Men's Basketball Championship on Sunday afternoon at the Pete Hanna Center. The Chargers are now 24-7 on the season, while Valdosta State is 26-5. UAH is now guaranteed a berth in the 2017 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball South Regional, and the entire tournament field and seeding will be announced in a selection on Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. on ncaa.com.
Turning Points -After Valdosta State jumped out to a 12-point lead at the midway point of the opening period, the Chargers outscored the Blazers 29-13 over the remaining minutes of the half to go in front by as many as eight en route to holding a 46-42 edge at the break. Seab Webster (6'6''-F) was especially strong in the stretch, scoring 10 points, and the team was 5-for-8 from beyond the arc during the run. -The Chargers went 9-for-11 at the charity stripe in the final minute to keep the Blazers at bay and preserve the victory.
Inside the Box Score -Webster - who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player - was terrific in the game, going 10-for-18 from the floor including five 3-pointers while scoring 35, and the senior recorded a double-double as he also grabbed 11 rebounds. -Proving to be a huge spark off the bench for the Chargers, Chayse Elliott (6'2''-G) scored 17, while Troy Saxton (6'2''-G) added 15 on his way to also landing on the all-tournament team. -Saxton also dished out a team-high eight assists in the victory. -Josh Lemons (6'1''-G) led Valdosta with 17 points, and UAH largely held GSC Player of the Year Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) in check as he scored 14 on 5-of-13 shooting. -For the game, the Chargers 46.6 percent including 13-for-32 from beyond the arc, while VSU shot 50.0 percent. -The rebounding battle was tight with VSU holding a 35-34 edge, and the Chargers grabbed seven offensive boards to hold a 10-8 edge in second-chance points.
Inside the Flow -Valdosta State controlled play through much of the opening minutes, holding the Chargers to a 5-of-16 effort from the floor during the game's first ten minutes en route to building up the 29-17 lead at the 10:03 mark, but UAH then went on a 29-9 run over nearly nine minutes to go up 46-38 with just over a minute left in the half. -The top-seeded Blazers then scored the next five straight including the first bucket of the second half to cut the lead down to just three at 46-43. -Though the teams exchanged blows throughout the period, UAH never surrendered the advantage, going back in front by as many as nine when Elliott hit a big 3-pointer at the 3:03 mark to put the Chargers ahead 85-76. -VSU then went on an 11-3 run over the next 2:36 to cut it to 88-87 with just under 30 seconds left in the game. -Saxton hit a pair of free throws to put the Chargers back ahead by three, and that would be a familiar refrain in the final moments as Saxton hit another pair with 10 seconds left and Webster scored his final points with five seconds remaining to ice the contest as VSU's shot at the buzzer would not go.
Noteworthy -This is UAH's second title in the past three seasons, and it is the third since 2012 as the program moves to 3-3 in tournament title games. -Webster earns Most Outstanding Player honors for the second time in his career as he was also the top player of the 2015 tournament. -Webster now owns nine double-doubles on the year, and the scoring performance was his fourth of at least 30 points this season.
GSC Tournament Final: ALABAMA HUNTSVILLE - Valdosta State 94-91 GSC Tournament Semifinals: Valdosta State - Christian Brothers 90-80 Alabama-Huntsville - Delta State 85-67
Joe Mazzulla Named Head Men's Basketball Coach at Fairmont State - 1 day ago
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In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members... [read more]
In my Daily Dirt earlier today, I mentioned that Joe Mazzulla was the leader for DII Fairmont State. It's now been made official. Fairmont State University Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced today that Joe Mazzulla has been named the program's 12th head men's basketball coach. Mazzulla will be introduced to the Fairmont community at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 29 during a press conference inside Joe Retton Arena. Following some opening comments from Coach Mazzulla, media members will have the opportunity to do one-on-one interviews. Members of the community are invited to attend. A former West Virginia University standout, Mazzulla spent five years coaching at the NCAA Division II level, including three at Fairmont State, before serving as an assistant coach in the NBA Development league last year. 'It is a privilege to welcome Joe back to Fairmont, and we couldn't be happier to have him as our next head men's basketball coach,' said McNeely. 'Joe is well known around the state of West Virginia from leading the Mountaineers to the Final Four, and he has had success at every stop of his young coaching career. 'Coming off a national runner-up season, we wanted to keep the continuity and team chemistry as strong as possible, and we believe Joe is the correct person to keep FSU basketball rolling in the right direction.' 'I am pleased to welcome Joe back to Fairmont State, and I have complete confidence that we have found a leader that can keep FSU basketball competing at the highest level,' said FSU President Maria Rose. Mazzulla most recently served as an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws (an affiliate of the Boston Celtics) of the NBA Developmental League for the last year. Maine currently leads the Atlantic Division of the NBADL standings with a 28-19 overall record. Prior to his position with the Red Claws, Mazzulla was an assistant coach for three seasons on Jerrod Calhoun's staff at Fairmont State. During that time, the Falcons compiled a record of 67-26 with three 20-win seasons and a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. 'I would like to thank President Rose, Athletic Director Tim McNeely, Coach Jerrod Calhoun, the entire community of Fairmont and the current players at Fairmont State University for giving me the opportunity to take over the FSU basketball program,' said Mazzulla. 'It is very humbling to get this opportunity and I'm excited to come home and lead a program that is loved and supported by a group of passionate community members. Fairmont is a special place. 'I am excited to get back to work with the returning players and find ways that we can all get one percent better each day.' During his three year's on the coaching staff at Fairmont State, Mazzulla was instrumental in developing point guards Caleb Davis and Shammgod Wells into regular contributors and starters for the Falcon. Wells ended his career in 2017 as the school's all-time leader in both assists and steals. Davis started his first two seasons in Fairmont prior to becoming a key reserve for FSU as a junior in 2015-16. Davis started the first five games of the 2016-17 season before suffering a season-ending injury. Mazzulla was also key in the early development of point guard Jason Jolly, who served as the sixth-man for the Falcons in 2015-16 as a freshman. During that season, Jolly was fourth on the team in scoring (9.4) and made 52 three-pointers. Mazzulla started his coaching career by spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Glenville State. In his time with the Pioneers Mazzulla helped develop two All-WVIAC honorees and a pair of all-freshman team honorees. Prior to beginning his coaching career, Mazzulla played four seasons at West Virginia University for head coaches John Beilein and Bob Huggins. His teams made four-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a berth in the Final Four in 2010. Mazzulla also won a Big East Tournament Championship and NIT Tournament Championship at WVU and the standout also excelled in the classroom, getting named to Big East Academic All-Star Team three times (2007, 2009 and 2010). The point guard was the sixth-man for the Mountaineers during the 2010 Final Four run. Mazzulla had a season-high 17 points in the regional final against Kentucky to help lead WVU to the Final Four. As a senior, Mazzulla started 16 games and averaged 7.7 points and 3.8 rebounds. The standout point guard also had 139 assists during his final season with the Mountaineers. Mazzulla and his wife Camai currently reside in Fairmont and have two children, Michael Harden and Emmanuel Joseph Daniel Mazzulla. Mazzulla is a native of Johnston, R.I. Courtesy of: hoopdirt.com
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 4 days ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
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