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Second Half Surge Leads Lady Blazers to 59-46 Victory at Auburn Montgomery

Second Half Surge Leads Lady Blazers to 59-46 Victory at Auburn Montgomery
Posted at 12:07 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 00:07:56-05

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (VALDOSTA STATE ATHLETICS) — Behind a 17-1 run in the third quarter, the Valdosta State women's basketball team pulled away from Auburn Montgomery for a 59-46 victory Thursday evening to extend its winning streak to four.

Lady Blazer graduate student Kwajelin Farrar posted her seventh double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds, going 8 of 16 from the field with two free throws and four steals, leading three players in double figures. Freshman Taylor Searcey added 12 points off the bench on 6 of 10 from the field and five rebounds, while graduate student Nicole Heyn added ten points – eight of them in the fourth quarter.

VSU improved to 18-4 overall and 13-2 in Gulf South Conference play, while AUM fell to 6-13 and 1-12 in league play. The Warhawks were led by 15 points from Catlin Carter and 12 points from Allasha Dudley. As a team, VSU shot 39.7 percent from the field on 25 of 63, while it was 4 of 22 from beyond the arc and 5 of 9 from the line. AUM went 16 of 52 from the field, 3 of 18 from beyond the arc and 11 of 15 from the line. VSU forced 18 miscues and held a 17-9 lead in points off turnovers.

A 3-pointer by AUM's Tamia Willingham-King broke a 7-7 tie with 4:30 left in the first quarter as AUM finished the frame with a 7-2 run for a 14-9 lead through one quarter. VSU opened the game just 3 of 18 from the field and 1 of 9 from beyond the arc, while AUM was 6 of 15 from the field and 2 of 5 from range for the first quarter.

The second quarter, however, was a different story as VSU got on track offensively and outscored the Warhawks 20-10 for a 29-24 lead at the break. The Lady Blazers went 8 of 14 from the field for the second stanza and were 2 of 4 from deep. AUM had its largest lead at 18-11 on a pair of free throws from Carter with 8:35 to play, but the Lady Blazers answered with a triple from graduate student Delaney Bernard, sparking a 14-2 run for a 25-20 lead with 4:37 left. AUM pulled within 25-23, but Searcey scored her eighth point of the game for a 27-23 lead with 3:30 to play as VSU settled for the five-point cushion at the break.

For the half, VSU shot 11 of 32 from the field for 34.4 percent, while it struggled from beyond the arc, going 3 of 13 and was 4 of 4 from the line. AUM was 9 of 26 from the field for a 34.6 clip, 3 of 12 from deep and 3 of 6 from the line. Searcey went 4 of 6 from the field off the bench, while Farrar was 3 of 8 from the field and 2 of 2 from the line for eight points and five rebounds. Carter paced AUM with seven points and 3 of 3 from the stripe.

An "and one" for Dudley pulled the Warhawks within 29-27 with 6:59 left in the third quarter for the first points of the second half, but that would be as close as it would get as a jumper from Farrar followed for her tenth point of the game and a 31-27 advantage as the Lady Blazers were off and running. Following her own defensive rebound, Farrar found the bucket, once again, for a 33-27 lead and 5:55 left in the quarter for the largest Lady Blazer lead of the game to that point.

Farrar then scored again and gathered her own rebound off her missed free throw, score and foul again for a 37-27 lead with 4:53 to play in the quarter and an 8-0 run. VSU stretched the run to 13-0 and a 42-27 lead, before a free throw from AUM ended the run with 3:00 left in the quarter. Graduate student Mallory Odell scored a jumper and then freshman India Jordan scored for a 46-28 lead with under two minutes to play in the quarter, stretching the run to 17-1 since the opening three points from Dudley in the second half. AUM scored three field goals and a free throw to pull within 47-34 through three frames.

Heyn scored eight points in the fourth quarter as VSU stretched the lead to as many as 19 with 3:48 left in the game at 57-38. AUM cut the deficit back to 13 with an 8-2 run to close the game.

The Lady Blazers continue on the road on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Montevallo. Fans can access links to live stats and audio/video streaming of the game at vstateblazers.com. Spencer Van Horn will have play-by-play coverage of the game on TALK 92.1 FM WDDQ on the radio.