Live Blog: Wonder Boys vs. Valdosta State

Men’s Semifinals
#2 Arkansas Tech vs. #7 Valdosta State
5:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 6
DeSoto Civic Center – Southaven, Miss.

3:50 p.m. — Welcome to our live courtside blog from the GSC Men’s Basketball Tournament semifinal round game between Arkansas Tech and Valdosta State. This will be the second-ever meeting between these two programs. The Wonder Boys defeated the Blazers 79-66 in the 2009 GSC Tournament championship game to give Tech its first-ever GSC Tournament title in men’s basketball.

3:55 p.m. — Today’s game will be broadcast in the Russellville area on radio station KWKK 100.9 FM. Click here to access an Internet stream of the broadcast. The broadcast will go on the air at approximately 5:15 p.m.

5:04 p.m. — Arkansas Tech is ninth in the country in scoring defense (60.3 points allowed per game). Valdosta State is 20th in the country in scoring offense (83.8 points per game).

5:08 p.m. — One of the keys to containing the Blazers will be limiting Tyrone Curnell’s touches. The All-America forward averages 18.2 points and 8.6 points per game. He is the GSC East Division player of the year, while Arkansas Tech guard Brandon Friedel is the GSC West Division player the year. Friedel averages 15.1 points per game.

5:29 p.m. — Arkansas Tech starters: Marcus Pillow, Brandon Friedel, Jeremy Dunbar, James Causey and Irvin Humphrey.

5:32 p.m. — Valdosta State starters: Ricardo Lewis, Tyrone Curnell, Marvin Dibble, Ryan Nelson and Tristan Crawford.

5:38 p.m. — Arkansas Tech leads 6-3 with 15:35 to go in the first half.

5:41 p.m. — Wonder Boys have forced six VSU turnovers. Tech leads 9-3 with 14:29 left in the half.

5:47 p.m — Tech goes on a 12-2 run to take a 14-5 lead with 11:57 left in the half. Tech is 5-of-9 from the field; Valdosta is 2-of-15. Dunbar and Pillow have five points apiece for Tech.

5:57 p.m. — Two 3-pointers by Valdosta’s Ryan Nelson have cut into the Arkansas Tech lead. The Wonder Boys are in front 20-13 with 7:00 left in the first half. Curnell is 0-for-7 from the field for the Blazers.

6:05 p.m. — Tech has gone cold from the field and is now just 7-of-21 (33 percent). The Wonder Boys lead 22-16 with 3:23 left before halftime. Jeremy Dunbar leads Tech with six points.

6:09 p.m. — A Willie Sanders steal leads to a Laithe Massey layup; Tech leads 27-16 with 3:01 left in the half. Timeout VSU.

6:31 p.m. — Sorry for the delay; our laptop decided it was time for a restart. Tech leads 29-20 at halftime. Jeremy Dunbar leads the Wonder Boys with six points. Tech has a 17-0 edge in points off turnovers. Second half about to start. Listen live on KWKK 100.9 FM in the Russellville area and at

6:38 p.m. — Tech’s defense holding strong — Valdosta State is 8-of-33 from the field (24 percent). Wonder Boys lead 31-22 with 15:58 left.

6:48 p.m. — Arkansas Tech 41, VSU 27 with 11:19 left. The Wonder Boys are plus-12 in turnover margin, and Tech holds a 26-2 edge in points off turnovers. Tyrone Curnell still scoreless for the Blazers.

6:55 p.m. — Valdosta State went on an 8-0 run to get within eight, but Renard Allen stopped that spurt with a put-back at the 7:31 mark. Tech leads 43-33 with 7:18 to go.

7:01 p.m. — A Brandon Friedel 3-pointer makes it 48-38 Tech with 5:25 left.

7:08 p.m. — The Wonder Boys use a 7-2 run to take a 52-40 lead with 3:15 left.

7:13 p.m. — Curnell fouls out for VSU; Tech leads 55-43 with 1:54 to go.

7:18 p.m. — Arkansas Tech is going back to the GSC Tournament title game for a second straight year. Wonder Boys win 57-48 behind a 31-4 edge in points off turnovers. Back with more after the post-game interview with Coach Mark Downey.