VALDOSTA, Ga. (vstateblazers.com) — Playing for the first time since Jan. 2, the No. 19 Valdosta State women's basketball team opened the 2022 home portion of the schedule with a hard-fought, 47-35 victory over visiting Delta State Thursday evening. VSU graduate student Kwajelin Farrar had a game-high 11 points and was the only Lady Blazer in double figures in the game.
VSU ran its winning streak to five, matching its longest winning streak of the season as it improved to 12-2 overall and 7-1 in Gulf South Conference play. The Lady Blazers finished the game 14 of 43 from the field for 32.6 percent, while they were 6 of 18 from beyond the arc and 13 of 19 from the line. The 35 points allowed marked the fewest points allowed in a game this season and the second time of allowing under 40 points with the first being a 63-37 victory over West Georgia (Dec. 4, 2021).
DSU (7-6, 5-3 GSC) was led by a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds from Camryn Davis. Credit the VSU "D" as the Lady Statesmen were 13 of 47 from the field for a 27.7 average, while it went 4 of 13 from range and 5 of 12 from the line. VSU forced 19 turnovers by the Lady Statesmen.
Farrar finished the game 3 of 4 from the field and 5 of 5 from the line, while pulling down five rebounds. Graduate student Nicole Heyn had five points and a team-high nine rebounds. Three different Blazers had seven points each. Davis finished 3 of 5 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line with three offensive rebounds and seven defensive boards for the game for the Lady Statesmen, while Ke'Vonshaye Stackhouse and Moriah Hurst each had seven points.
The Lady Blazers won the second-straight meeting in the series and eight of the last 11, including four of the last six in Valdosta.
VSU opened the game with a 7-2 run highlighted by a triple and a jumper from graduate student Delaney Bernard. After a score from DSU, Heyn got in to the act from deep for a 10-4 score with 6:48 left in the first quarter.
The Lady Blazers opened making four of their first seven shots, including 2 of 3 from range, for a 10-5 lead with five minutes left in the opening quarter, while DSU began 2 of 8 from the field. Out of a media timeout, Hurst buried a trey to tie the game at ten as VSU missed its last three shots with two turnovers. Stackhouse scored inside for DSU's first lead of the game at 12-10 and a 7-0 run by the Lady Statesmen.
Freshman Taylor Searcey scored inside from Heyn with two minutes left in the quarter to end the run and tie the game at 12. A steal from Heyn and a transition layup from Searcey put VSU back in front 14-12 with less than a minute remaining in the quarter.
Farrar scored inside for the sixth assist on seven buckets and a 16-12 lead early in the second quarter. Following a turnover by DSU, sophomore Lili Long hit the Lady Blazers' third trey of the game for a 19-12 lead – marking the largest lead of the game to that point. Stackhouse buried a triple with eight minutes left in the half for a 19-15 VSU lead. Farrar earned the "and one" on the first foul of the game on the Lady Statesmen with 5:16 left in the half and a 22-15 VSU lead. Following great defensive pressure and a backcourt violation on DSU, Long hit her second trey of the half and a 25-15 lead with 4:30 remaining.
DSU's Chrystal Mayes ended a scoring drought of over four minutes for a 25-17 VSU lead, but graduate student Mallory Odell hit a triple for a 28-17 lead with three minutes left in the half and the fifth trey of the game thus for far for the Lady Blazers. VSU took a 28-17 lead into intermission and outscored DSU 14-5 in the second quarter.
For the half, VSU clamped down on defense in the second quarter, holding DSU to just 6 of 26 from the field for the half and 2 of 13 from the field in the second stanza. VSU was 11 of 27 from the field for the half and 5 of 12 from range, while going 1 of 3 from the line. The Lady Statesmen were 2 of 8 from beyond the arc for the half and 3 of 4 from the line. Individually, six different players scored for the Lady Blazers led by seven points from Farrar and Heyn had six rebounds for the half. Stackhouse had seven points for DSU.
DSU scored two quick buckets to begin the second half pulling within seven at 28-21 with 8:30 left in the quarter. Camryn Davis made one of two free throws for DSU, cutting the deficit to 28-22 with a 5-0 run to begin the half and timeout by the Lady Blazers with 5:51 left in the third.
Out of the timeout, sophomore Tamiya Francis hit a trey for a 31-22 lead with five minutes left in the quarter. It was the sixth triple of the game by the Lady Blazers. Two quick fouls on Stackhouse gave her three for the game out of the media timeout and four minutes left in the third. A trey from Shanell Kitchens marked the first points for either team in over three minutes, pulling DSU within 31-25 with 2:02 left in the third.
The Lady Blazers took a 33-25 lead into the final quarter as both teams struggled offensively in the third, going a combined 4 of 20 from the field as VSU was 1 of 9 from the floor for the frame and DSU was 3 of 11. VSU was helped out by 1 of 6 shooting by the Lady Statesmen from the line in the third.
Farrar made two free throws for a 36-27 lead with 7:15 left in regulation as VSU began the quarter 3 of 4 from the line and 0 of 1 from the field for the frame. Following the fifth foul of the frame on DSU, Farrar made two more free throws for a 38-27 lead with 6:08 remaining. Bernard scored in transition from Francis for a 40-27 lead and the first made field goal of the quarter with 5:14 left. It marked the largest lead of the game to that point.
Hurst pulled DSU within 40-31 with 2:25 left in the contest on the fourth trey of the game by the Lady Statesmen. Odell buried a midrange jumper for a 42-31 lead at the other end, but Davis scored for the Lady Statesmen with 93 seconds remaining and a timeout by VSU and a 42-33 Lady Blazer advantage.
A bucket from Zayaire Ewing and a free throw from Searcey for the Lady Blazers gave VSU a 43-35 lead. The Lady Blazers got a big turnover with 35 seconds remaining and a technical foul and personal foul on Stackhouse giving VSU four free throws for a 47-35 lead. VSU ran out the clock for the victory.
The Lady Blazers continue at home on Saturday for Hall of Fame Weekend as they are scheduled to host Mississippi College at 2 p.m. Earlier that day, VSU will honor its 25th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony with a 10 a.m. brunch at the Student Union Ballroom located at 1500 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA, 31698. Fans can purchase tickets for the brunch at the link to the right of this article ($25 per person). The brunch ticket will also allow access to the VSU basketball doubleheader at The Complex that afternoon vs. Mississippi College at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The 2022 Class features four outstanding former student-athletes, one long time contributor and a veteran coach.
- Cedric Jones (Football, 2006-09)
- Candice Ferrell Bryant (Women's Basketball, 2002-06)
- Edmund Kugbila (Football, 2009-12)
- Raphaelle Durante (Women's Tennis, 2007-10)
- Courtney Albritton Carter (Softball, 2012-15)
- Mike Chason (Contributor, 1990-Present)
- Thomas Macera (Softball, 2006-Present)