MEMPHIS, Tenn. (VALDOSTA STATE) — Behind five players in double figures and a double-double from graduate student Nicole Heyn, the No. 16 Valdosta State women's basketball team won its seventh-straight game with a 101-62 victory at Christian Brothers Thursday evening. VSU third-year head coach Deandra Schirmer won her 50th game at the helm of the Lady Blazers.
The 101 points marked the most since VSU also scored 101 points on Dec. 1, 2016, against Trinity (Fla.). Thursday's game saw VSU race out to a big lead and use big runs throughout the game for the season-high 39-point victory. Schirmer improved to 50-17 in her three seasons at VSU and 35-13 in GSC play. She is the fourth-fastest Lady Blazer head coach to reach 50 wins in just 67 games.
VSU set numerous season-highs for points (101), field goals made (36), field goals attempted (73) and 3-pointers made in the game with 12. The lady Blazers also had season-highs in assists (25) and blocked shots (8).
Heyn finished the game 6 of 8 from the field, 2 of 4 from deep and 4 of 5 from the line with 11 rebounds, a season-high eight assists and matched her season-high 18 points. Graduate student Mallory Odell had 16 points off the bench and eight rebounds, while graduate students Delaney Bernard and Kwajelin Farrar each had 14 points and combined for 11 of 14 from the field. Bernard was a team-best 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Lili Long added 13 points.
As a team the Lady Blazers, who improved to 14-2 overall and 9-1 in Gulf South Conference play, went 36 of 73 from the field for a 49.3 clip, while they were 12 of 28 from beyond the arc (42.9) and 17 of 23 from the line (73.9%). VSU held a 50-33 lead in rebounding and an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers as VSU forced 14 miscues by CBU and had just 10 turnovers.
CBU (5-12, 4-7 GSC) was led by a game-high 21 points from GSC leading scorer Emily Jones. She was 7 of 17 from the field, 2 of 8 from beyond the arc and 5 of 5 from the line. Jones had six rebounds in the game and Jeremia Montgomery added 12 points on 5 of 8 from the field and 2 of 3 from the line. The Lady Bucs were held to 34.4 percent shooting on 22 of 64, while they were 6 of 28 from deep (21.4%) and 12 of 17 from the line.
The Lady Blazers scored 22 of the first 30 points through the first six minutes and change in the first quarter. VSU opened the game 8 of 12 from the field and 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, while CBU was 4 of 12 from the field and 0 of 3 from range. Graduate student Delaney Bernard went 2 of 2 from beyond the arc, while Heyn was 1 for 2 from deep during the start.
VSU built the lead to 14 at 24-10, but CBU's Braylee McMath nailed a triple for a 24-13 score with eight seconds left in the first quarter. VSU opened 9 of 18 from the field for the quarter and 4 of 8 from range, while going 2 for 2 from the line. The Lady Bucs were 6 of 15 from the field and 1 of 4 from deep as they didn't attempt a free throw in the quarter. Six different Lady Blazers scored in the opening stanza, led by six points each from Bernard and Farrar.
A bucket from Odell and a triple from sophomore Kendall Bollmer pushed the lead to 29-13 with 9:19 left in the first half as the Lady Blazer "D" started forcing miscues by CBU. Following a turnover, Bollmer hit her second trey and Heyn scored on a jumper off an offensive rebound from Odell for a 34-13 lead and a timeout by CBU with 8:15 left in the half. VSU began the second quarter with a 10-0 run to that point.
Heyn then scored her seventh point of the game, extending the run to 12-0 with 6:48 left in the quarter at 36-13. Two free throws by Jones put CBU on the board in the second quarter, but the Lady Blazers responded quickly pushing the lead to 28 at 43-15 on a triple from Long with 4:11 left in the half. Jones hit two free throws with 17 seconds left to pull the Lady Bucs within 49-25 at intermission.
The third quarter saw VSU scored the first 14 points of the half using another big run to start the second half of a game this season. VSU led 63-25 with 7:01 left in the third capped with a layup from Heyn. VSU pushed the lead to 41 at 70-29 on a jumper from Odell, before CBU closed the frame on a 18-7 run and a 77-47 VSU lead through three quarters.
An 8-0 run began the fourth quarter for VSU and a triple from Long gave VSU its largest lead of the game at 91-48 with 6:26 left for a 14-1 run to start the frame. Freshman Taylor Searcey would match the 43-point advantage a few minutes later, before Jones buried a triple for a 93-53 score with 5:17 left.
VSU now travels to Jackson, Tenn., for a 3 p.m. ET matchup with No. 15 Union on Saturday. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming, ticket information and more at vstateblazers.com on the women's basketball schedule page. The highly anticipated game will be broadcast on 92.1 WDDQ FM with Spencer Van Horn having the call of the game.