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Valdosta State basketball splits West Alabama doubleheader on Saturday

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Posted at 9:09 PM, Feb 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 21:09:15-05

Behind a season-high 14 3-pointers, the Valdosta State women's basketball team posted a 92-61 victory over visiting West Alabama Saturday afternoon at The Complex to sweep the season series.

The Lady Blazers improved to 17-4 overall and 12-2 in Gulf South Conference play as they were 14 of 26 from beyond the arc for a blistering 53.8 percent, while the team was 33 of 59 from the field for a 55.9 clip and went 12 of 17 from the line. VSU forced UWA into 20 turnovers for the game and held a 32-5 lead in points off miscues.

VSU graduate student Nicole Heyn posted a season-high 22 points on 7 of 9 from the field and a season-best 6 of 6 from deep, while she was 2 of 2 from the line leading five Lady Blazers in double figures. It was her second-straight 20-plus point game of the season as she had 20 points on Thursday in the win over Alabama Huntsville. Graduate student Kwajelin Farrar added 14 points on 5 of 7 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line with seven rebounds, while graduate student Delaney Bernard and sophomore Tamiya Francis each added 12 points and graduate student Mallory Odell chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.

UWA (13-7, 7-5 GSC) was led by 30 points from Tazsa Garrett-Hammett as she was 11 of 19 from the field, 3 of 5 from deep and 5 of 5 from the line. Zoe Watts added 15 points off the bench and Bria Dent chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds. The Tigers shot 21 of 46 from the field for 45.7 percent, while they went 4 of 11 from beyond the arc and 15 of 20 from the line.

A nice pass from Bernard to Farrar inside tied the game at 6-6 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first quarter for Farrar's third point of the game. A triple from sophomore Lili Long gave VSU a 9-8 lead with 5:30 left in the first quarter and Farrar scored inside for an 11-8 lead following a miss from the Tigers.

Two free throws from freshman Taylor Searcey, a steal from Francis and score gave VSU a 15-10 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter. Following a miscue by the Tigers, Heyn buried a triple for an 18-10 lead and a 7-0 run.

Garrett-Hammett hit a triple ending the run and cutting the deficit to 18-13 with just over two minutes left in the half. It was Garrett-Hammett's ninth point of the game. Heyn scored in transition on a pull up jumper from the free throw line for a 20-13 lead late in the quarter. Odell collected an offensive rebound and put back for the final score of the quarter and a 22-15 VSU lead through ten minutes.

VSU opened the game 8 of 19 from the field and 3 of 8 from deep, while going 3 of 4 from the line, while UWA was 6 of 11 from the field, 1 of 4 from deep and 2 of 2 from the line. VSU forced seven miscues in the quarter by UWA which led to an 11-0 lead in points off turnovers. VSU had just one miscue in the frame.

Farrar scored the first bucket of the second quarter for VSU and a 24-17 lead with 7:17 left in the half, but Garrett-Hammett answered inside for her 13th point of the game and a 24-19 score. Following a turnover under the basket, Heyn buried one from deep for a 27-19 score, but Garrett-Hammett was keeping UWA within the game and a triple at the other end with just over five minutes left and a 27-22 VSU lead.

Odell made a good move inside for her fourth point and a 31-23 lead for the Lady Blazers with 3:44 left. The 11th turnover on UWA followed and VSU made it pay as Searcey scored inside for a 33-23 lead and the largest of the game to that point with 3:23 left in the half.

Heyn continued to the hot hand for the Lady Blazers from deep for a 36-26 lead and 95 seconds left in the half for her 14thpoint of the game. She hit another big triple with one-minute left in the half and a 39-28 lead. A steal and score from Odell at the buzzer gave VSU a 41-28 lead at the break. VSU ended the quarter scoring eight of the final ten points.

For the half, VSU shot 16 of 34 from the field for a 47.1 average, while UWA was 10 of 19 from the field for a 52.6 clip. The Lady Blazers were 6 of 15 from deep, while UWA was 2 of 6 from beyond the arc. VSU was 3 of 4 from the line, while the Tigers were 6 of 8. VSU held a 17-12 lead in rebounding and forced 14 turnovers by the Tigers, leading to a 23-0 lead in points off turnovers. VSU committed seven miscues for the half. Garrett-Hammett had 18 points for UWA in the half on 7 of 11 from the field, two triples and two free throws, while Heyn went 6 of 8 from the field and 5 of 6 from deep for 17 points for the first half.

A trey from Garrett-Hammett off a miscue by VSU marked the first points of the second half, but Farrar scored inside for a 43-31 lead with 8:53 left in the third quarter. Bernard pushed the VSU lead back to double-digits with a triple at 47-35, beginning a stretch of three-straight possessions with triples from each team and a 50-38 VSU lead with seven minutes left in the quarter. Sophomore Lili Long hit one from deep and a 53-38 lead with 6:38 left in the frame.

Bernard drained one from deep for a 58-42 lead and four minutes left in the third quarter, followed by one from Francis and a 61-44 lead for the largest of the game to that point. It was the 11th triple of the game for the Lady Blazers. Searcey scored back-to-back buckets for a 68-49 lead through three frames as the teams combined for 48 points in the quarter, 27-21 in favor of VSU.

Early in the fourth, two free throws from Farrar and a triple in transition from Bernard gave VSU a 73-49 lead. Garrett-Hammett scored her 30th point of the game to end the 5-0 spurt by the Lady Blazers and a 73-51 lead. Bernard, now with the hot hand, drained her fourth of the game for a 77-51 lead and 7:30 left in regulation as VSU opened the frame on a 9-2 run. Francis stretched the run 12-2 with a bucket in the lane for an 80-51 lead with 5:44 left and then buried a triple for an 83-51 lead for a 15-2 run. Freshman India Jordan earned the "and one" for an 88-55 lead and a 20-6 start to the fourth quarter and 2:22 left in the game. Sophomore Kendall Bollmer buried a jumper for a 90-55 score and a 22-6 run as UWA called a timeout with 1:52 to play. VSU went on for the 92-61 victory and outscored UWA 24-12 in the fourth quarter.

VSU returns to the road at Auburn Montgomery on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. ET, followed by a road game at Montevallo on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. ET. Check back with for more information.


West Alabama's Kortrijk Miles' off-balanced jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining gave visiting West Alabama a 59-57 victory over Valdosta State Saturday afternoon at The Complex. VSU was led by 22 points from junior guard Jacolbey Owens, who lead two players in double figures.

VSU fell to 11-10 overall and 7-7 in Gulf South Conference play, while UWA improved to 18-4 overall and 11-3 in league play. Owens finished 8 of 15 from the field, 3 of 5 from deep and 3 of 5 from the line, while junior Cam Hamilton added ten points on 4 of 8 from the field and 2 of 4 from the line. As a team, the Blazers shot 43.4 percent on 23 of 53 from the field, while they were 4 of 11 from beyond the arc and 7 of 11 from the line.

The Tigers were led by 26 points from Shardarrion Allen on 8 of 11 from the field 4 of 6 from beyond the arc and 6 of 6 from the line. Miles added 12 points on 6 of 11 from the field. The Tigers shot 43.1 percent on 22 of 51 from the floor, while they were 6 of 20 from beyond the arc and 9 of 11 from the line.

In a tightly contested battle throughout, Allen scored two free throws giving UWA a 21-19 lead with 4:18 left in the first half. He hit two more free throws, but Blazer freshman Ricky Brown answered with a triple. UWA's Te Smith hit a trey for a 26-22 UWA lead with 2:57 left in the half.

Following one of two at the line from UWA, Hamilton scored on a driving layup for a 27-24 deficit with 2:20 left in the half. Neither team scored the rest of the half.

For the half, VSU was 10 of 27 from the field, 1 of 5 from deep and 3 of 5 from the line, while UWA was 8 of 20 from the field and drained six of 11 triples, while it was 5 of 7 from the line. The Blazers held an 18-12 lead in rebounding and a 6-2 advantage on the offensive end in a half that saw three ties and seven lead changes.

Allen had 18 of UWA's 27 points for the half on 5 of 8 from the field and 4 of 6 from deep, while he was 4 of 4 from the line. No other Tiger had more than three points. Owens had seven points in 18 minutes for VSU on 2 of 4 from the field and 3 of 5 from the line.

Two free throws by junior Maurice Gordon gave VSU a 32-31 lead with 17:06 remaining as it was the first lead for the Blazers since early in the contest. Miles quickly gave the Tigers the lead back, but Owens buried a triple for a 37-35 lead with 16:06 to play and a timeout by UWA.

Owens continued his hot hand from deep with another triple for a 42-37 lead with 14:01 remaining and Hamilton hit a floater for a 44-37 lead and a 7-0 run since the 15:14 mark. Later, Allen pulled UWA within 46-45 with a jumper for his 22nd point of the contest and 9:19 left.

Two free throws from Hamilton and a dunk from UWA's Robert Davis made the score 48-47 VSU with 8:12 left. Out of a media timeout, sophomore Michael Cole had a huge dunk for a 50-47 lead with 7:11 remaining. VSU sophomore Cam Selders came up with a huge rejection on Davis, but Miles hit a jumper for a 50-49 VSU lead with 6:35 remaining. Gordon then scored on a driving layup in transition for a 52-49 lead and five minutes remaining.

Owens hit a big triple for a 57-51 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the contest as VSU had outscored UWA 33-24 in the second half to that point. Out of a timeout by VSU, the Tigers pulled within 57-53 on a bucket from Allen and he was then fouled with 94 seconds left. He made both free throws, trimming the VSU lead to 57-55.

A steal from Justin Allison and score from Miles in transition tied the game with 1:09 left. A scrum on the court going for a loose ball as the shot clock expired for VSU lead to a lengthy discussion by the officials. VSU was awarded a fresh 20 seconds on the shot clock with 38.7 seconds remaining.

Owens' floater in the lane missed as UWA gathered the rebound and timeout with 14.1 seconds left in regulation. Miles then hit the winner with 2.4 seconds left. VSU had one last chance as the in bounds pass was intercepted.

VSU returns to the road next week at Auburn Montgomery on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. ET, followed by a trip to Montevallo on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. ET.