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DeAndre Hersey scored the go-ahead basket with 17 seconds remaining and the University of North Alabama men's basketball team blocked two shots on Valdosta State's final possession to preserved a 74-73 road win over the Blazers Saturday evening.
The sixth straight victory gives the Lions a 16-3 overall record and 9-2 mark in Gulf South Conference play.
Each team scored a basket to regain the lead in the final minute of play. The Blazers got an offensive rebound and putback by James Anacreaon to grab a 73-72 lead with 31 seconds remaining. On the Lions' ensuing possession, UNA kept the ball after a blocked shot went out of bounds with 20 seconds to play. Marquel Darrington then found Hersey and the senior connected in the post.
On Valdosta State's final possession, blocks by Hersey and Bruce Adams kept the Blazers from scoring, giving UNA its fifth straight win in the series.
North Alabama led by as many as 17 in the first half before taking a 39-36 lead into the break. VSU was able to stay within striking distance by hitting 24-of-29 free throw attempts.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half, and the final 15 minutes of play featured eight ties and seven lead changes.
Adams connected on 10 shots from the floor and finished with a game-high 23 points. Hersey added 13 points on the night white Nathan Spehr also reached double figures with 12 points for the Lions.
UNA will return to Flowers Hall for its next two GSC games, beginning with an 8 p.m. contest against Christian Brothers on Thursday. The Lions will host Delta State the following Saturday at 3 p.m.