A 25-0 run at the end of the second quarter and into the third quarter, sparked the Valdosta State women's basketball team to a 66-47 victory over Auburn Montgomery Sunday afternoon at The Complex. VSU improved to a Gulf South Conference-best 5-0 on the year, while AUM fell to 0-4.
The five-game winning streak by the Lady Blazers is the longest since the 2017-18 season when the team won seven-straight from Feb. 1 through Feb. 22. VSU ended that season falling in a heartbreaker in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen to Union, 74-73. The Lady Blazers also are off to their best start to a season since 2005-06, as that team also began the season 5-0.
The Lady Blazers erased a five-point deficit over the final 2:27 of the first half with an 11-0 run to end the half for a 33-27 lead at intermission. VSU then opened the second half scoring the first 14 points for a 47-27 lead with 4:46 left in the quarter. VSU went 4 of 7 from the field draining two treys and 4 of 4 from the line, while AUM missed its first nine shots and was 0 of 3 from range to begin the final half. AUM ended the 25-0 run by the Lady Blazers with a layup from Karlie Jones with 4:04 left in the quarter. VSU outscored AUM 22-4 in the third quarter to take command of the game, while shooting 6 of 12 from the field for the quarter, buried two treys and made all eight free throw attempts.
VSU senior Kayla Bonilla finished the game with a game-high 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting and 4 of 5 from beyond the arc to lead two Lady Blazers in double figures and earned the Guardian Bank Blazer Player of the Game. Junior Kayla Frey added ten points off the bench and eight rebounds, while going 6 of 7 from the line. VSU shot 21 of 43 from the field for 48.8 percent, while going 6 of 14 from beyond the arc and 18 of 23 from the line. VSU's bench scored 23 points compared to AUM's eight bench points.
AUM finished 18 of 60 from the field and was led by 13 points from Makaylia Bullard, while Catlin Carter added ten points. The Warhawks were 7 of 27 from beyond the arc and were just 4 of 8 from the line and didn't attempt a free throw until the third quarter. The game saw four ties and six lead changes.
Just like last night in the 72-55 Lady Blazer victory over the Warhawks, upset-minded AUM hung tough early as the first half was back-and-forth. A trey from Carter gave AUM its first lead of the game at 10-9 midway through the first quarter. Two free throws by Frey, gave VSU at 13-10 lead later in the frame and a driving layup from Bonilla with 28 seconds left in the frame gave VSU a 15-12 lead through one quarter.
In the second quarter, AUM's Jordan Brewster, who had a hot hand from distance last night, continued the trend with a big trey giving AUM a 17-15 lead. Later, a pair of buckets from Ballard pushed the Warhawk lead to 24-20 with 4:13 left in the half. She added a triple moments later for AUM's largest lead of the game at 27-22 with 2:27 remaining in the first half. From there, VSU took over as a turnover and layup from Frey began the run, followed by a triple from Bonilla and the "and one" from Frey for the 33-27 lead at intermission.
VSU now prepares for its longest road trip of the season beginning Jan. 8-9 with a pair of games at Shorter and then Jan. 15-16 at Lee. The Lady Blazers then return home to host Shorter Jan. 22-23 at The Complex. The road trip will be broadcast on WJEM 94.3 FM Fox Sports Valdosta and online at foxsportsvaldosta.com with Spencer Van Horn having the call.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The No. 11 Blazers will return home with two more wins under its belt after a 99-72 win Sunday afternoon in Montgomery, Ala. to cap of their weekend double header.
VSU (3-0, 3-0 Gulf South Conference) was led by Guardian Bank Player of the Game Imoras Agee who recorded his first career double-double in a Blazer uniform, accounting for 24 of the Blazers 99 points and brought down a career high 11 rebounds. Agee was also able to dish out four assists during his 30 minutes on the floor. Burke Putnam also found himself in double figures for the second straight game, accounting for 23 points (.643) while dishing out five assists and bringing down six boards. Five Blazers finished in double-digits, as Cam Hamilton put up 14 and Jacolbey Owens and Travis Bianco both put up 13.
The Warhawks (0-2, 0-2 GSC) were led by 15 points from senior Jeremiah Bozeman who went five for eight (.625) from the field and ended the game with four rebounds. A total of four Warhawks finished in double digits during their loss.
The Blazers came out and replicated what the team did the night before and were the first on the board with help from Hamilton and Putnam. The Warhawks were able to tie the game up at ten and 12, but it was not long until the Blazers started to gain a strong lead. Over the next eight minutes, Valdosta went on a 23-4 run which led the team to head into the locker room with a dominating 49-27 lead.
The Blazers lead all around statistically after the first 20. The team outrebounded the Warhawks 23-13 and shot 55% from the field, 16% better than Auburn Montgomery. Along with controlling the floor, the Blazers also went six for 12 from beyond the arch and tallied eight assists, edging the Warhawks in that column as well.
The lead was too much to handle for the Warhawks as the Blazers went on to lead by 33 points off a layup from Owens with 9:12 left to play, its largest lead of the game. The Warhawks were able to tack on some points, nearly doubling its total from the first half, but the pressure and lead from the Blazers was too much as the Blazers went on to win 99-72.
The Blazers went 36 for 69 (.522) from the field and 13 for 28 (.464) from deep. The Warhawks struggled from three, only grabbing two buckets off 17 tries. The Warhawks were able to get in to more of a groove in the second half, shooting five percent better while the Blazers trended in the wrong direction during the final 20, shooting 50% from the field. Valdosta led big on the boards, bringing down 50 rebounds for a +17 differential on the game.
The Blazers are back in action for their home opener at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga. Friday, Jan 8, at 7 p.m. against Shorter. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming, ticket information and more at vstateblazers.com on the men's basketball schedule page.