CLEVELAND, Ms. — The Valdosta State women's basketball team dropped a 73-51 decision at Delta State Saturday afternoon in Cleveland, Miss.
VSU struggled once again in the second half as DSU outscored the Lady 34-19 for the final half and used a 16-6 third quarter after the Lady Statesmen led 39-32 at halftime. VSU fell to 16-8 overall and 8-8 in Gulf South Conference play, while DSU improved to 18-6 overall and 11-6 in league play.
The Lady Blazers struggled shooting on just 16 of 65 from the field for 24.6 percent, while going 3 of 30 from beyond the arc and 16 of 22 from the line. DSU shot 23 of 63 from the field and was 2 of 15 from beyond the arc, but was 25 of 32 at the line as VSU committed 25 fouls in the game to 16 for DSU.
VSU junior Kayla Bonilla had a team-high 14 points and senior Cheray Saunders added 12 points. Junior Delaney Bernard had a team-high 13 rebounds. DSU's Quantesha Patterson had a game-high 32 points on 9 of 12 from the field, while she was 14 of 16 from the line and recorded 16 rebounds. Zyaire Ewing added 10 points and 13 rebounds in the game.
The Lady Blazers had their largest lead of the game on a bucket from Bonilla for a 4-2 score with 8:36 but DSU led for the rest of the quarter. A trey from Saunders pulled VSU within 11-10 with 5:22 left in the frame as the Lady Statesmen closed the quarter on a 14-6 run for a 25-16 lead. DSU shot 55.6 percent for the frame on 10 of 18 from the field with two treys and 3 of 3 from the line. VSU was 5 of 18 from the field, 2 of 7 from range and 4 of 6 from the line to open the game.
In the second quarter, the Lady Blazers kept chipping away and pulled within 30-26 on a layup from Saunders with 3:33 left in the half. Patterson had the answer at the other end, however, as DSU stretched the lead to 10 with a 6-0 un for a 36-26 lead with 1:30 left.
After VSU had cut the deficit to five at 41-36 with 8:29 left in the third, DSU used a 10-0 run for a 51-36 lead with 2:58 left in the quarter. In the fourth, VSU pulled within 16, but the Lady Statemen stretched the lead to a game-high 22 late in the contest.
The Lady Blazers return home for the final two regular season home games Thursday at 6 p.m. versus Montevallo and then on Saturday at 2 p.m. versus West Alabama for Senior Day.