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Lady Blazers Outlast Shorter on the Road, 63-56

Lady Blazers Outlast Shorter on the Road, 63-56
Posted at 11:17 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 23:17:14-05

ROME, Ga. (VALDOSTA STATE ATHLETICS) — The Valdosta State women's basketball team trailed by as many as eight points twice in the first half, but outscored Shorter 44-30 in the second half for a hard-fought 63-56 victory to stretch its winning streak to 13 games.

The Lady Blazers improved to 13-2 overall and 12-1 in Gulf South Conference play with the victory and were led by three players in double figures with a team-high 15 points from sophomore Taylor Searcey, while senior Jirah Ards added 11 points and junior Aleisha Curry chipped in 14 points off the bench and was pivotal down the stretch.

VSU shot 21 of 45 from the field for 46.7 percent, while it was 5 of 17 from distance and 16 of 25 from the line. The Lady Blazers held a 24-22 lead in rebounding and outscored the Hawks in points off turnovers 23-18 as they forced SU into 21 turnovers, while VSU had 17 miscues.

VSU led by as many as nine points in the second half and raced out to a 21-5 spurt to begin the second half, as it locked down defensively forcing Shorter into nine turnovers in the frame alone. Two free throws from Searcey got the scoring started for VSU in the second half, pulling within 27-21. Following two free throws from Shorter, sophomore Kate Tanner scored her first two points of the game and a layup from Searcey, giving her double figures on the night, pulled VSU within 29-25 with 7:48 left in the quarter. Following a bucket from Shorter, sophomore India Jordan ignited the Lady Blazer offense with a triple, sparking a 14-0 run for a 40-31 advantage with 2:19 remaining in the frame.

Shorter (1-15, 1-12 GSC) used a triple from Lindsey Hardin as it closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to pull within 40-38 through three quarters. In the fourth, Tiara Lewis, who finished with 15 points, tied the game at 40 with a layup, but Tanner answered right back with a bucket. Later in the quarter, Curry scored inside for a 50-44 advantage with 4:56 to play, but the Hawks trimmed the margin to three on a layup from Derrica McCall who finished with 14 points, 51-48 and 4:07 to go.

Two big 3-pointers from senior Kendall Bollmer who had friends and family in the building, pushed the lead back to seven with 2:57 to play. In the final minute, Curry came up with a huge offensive rebound and score for a 60-51 lead, but Hardin answered with her third triple of the game for a 60-54 deficit and 18 seconds remaining. With six seconds left, Curry made two more free throws for a 63-54 score and 14 points for the game earning her Guardian Bank Lady Blazer Player of the Game accolades. McCall ended the game with a bucket for the final margin of 63-56.

The Hawks finished 19 of 44 from the field, 4 of 14 from beyond the arc and 14 of 19 from the line. Hardin was 5 of 14 from the field, while she was 3 of 7 from distance and 5 of 7 from the line with a team-high six rebounds leading three players in double figures.

VSU was just 7 of 20 from the field in the first half, 1 of 4 from beyond the arc and 4 of 6 from the line, while it improved drastically in the second half, going 14 of 25 from the field, 4 of 13 from distance and 12 of 19 from the line for the come-from-behind victory. The Lady Blazers trailed 26-19 at half.

The Lady Blazers continue on the road on Saturday as they travel to No. 13/22 Lee, who was upset by West Florida, 76-68 Thursday evening snapping the Lady Flames' 11-game winning streak, as both VSU and Lee enter leading the league with equal 12-1 marks. Game time is set for 2 p.m. and fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming and more at on the women's basketball schedule page. Spencer Van Horn will have the call of the game on 92.1 WDDQ FM in Valdosta and