CLEVELAND, Miss. — On a tough shooting night, the Valdosta State women's basketball team fought through it a and came away with a hard-fought, 44-42 victory at Delta State Saturday evening. Lady Blazer junior Tamiya Francis finished with a team-high 11 points, while sophomore Taylor Searcey finished with ten points and nine rebounds.
Clinging to a 41-40 lead with 1:24 left in the final frame, sophomore Kate Tanner came up with a big jumper in the paint for a 43-40 lead as it was the first field goal for the Lady Blazers in nearly five minutes of game time. Junior Lili Long came up with a huge steal and was fouled making one of two free throws for a 44-40 lead with 1:02 to play.
DSU's Alanna Smith scored on a layup off her own rebound for a 44-42 deficit and earned the "and one", but missed the toss giving the ball back to VSU. The Lady Blazers had a shot clock violation with 12 seconds left and DSU advanced the ball to midcourt with its final timeout. Smith missed the game-tying jumper at the buzzer.
The Lady Blazers improved to 3-2 on the year and 2-1 in Gulf South Conference play as they won their third-straight game. Delta State fell to 2-5 on the year and 1-2 in league play.
The Lady Blazers finished 16 of 50 from the field for 32 percent, while they were just 2 of 18 from beyond the arc and 10 of 15 from the line. Both teams finished with 26 rebounds, while VSU made the most of the Lady Statesmen's 21 turnovers leading to an 18-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
Both Francis and Searcey each were 4 for 4 from the line in the game. Tanner finished with nine points and five rebounds on 4 of 9 from the field and 1 of 4 from the line.
Delta State didn't shoot much better at 14 of 43 from the field for 32.6 percent, while it was 5 of 11 from downtown and 9 of 12 from the line.
Smith had a game-high 14 points, but was just 3 of 15 from the field with one triple and 7 of 9 from the line, while Camryn Davis finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Valdosta State 73, Delta State 64: Behind two Blazers recording double-doubles, the Valdosta State men's basketball team won a hard-fought battle, 73-64, against Delta State Saturday night on the road. The Blazers improved to 6-3 on the year, 3-0 in the Gulf South Conference and extended their winning streak to six games, while the Statesmen fell to 0-5 on the year and 0-3 in the GSC.
As a team, the Blazers went 25 of 47 from the field (53.2%), 6 of 19 from deep (31.6%) and 17 of 33 from the free throw line (51.5%). The Blazers also added 28 rebounds, 19 assists, three blocks, and nine thefts. VSU recorded 22 points off of 20 Statesmen turnovers, 15 fast break points, 19 bench points and seven second-chance points
The offense was led by graduate student Ryan Black, who put up 14 points in the game in addition to four rebounds, and a steal. Senior guard Jacolbey Owens and graduate student Maurice Gordon each recorded double-doubles as Owens put up 11 points in addition to 10 assists to lead the team, two rebounds and four thefts and Gordon, with his second-straight double, recorded 10 points, a team-high 10 rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.
Sophomore forward Caden Boser recorded 13 points during the game, going 4 of 6 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line in addition to four rebounds, a steal and an assist. Junior forward Jay Rucker was the fifth Blazer to score in double figures as he recorded 11 points, shooting 5 of 10 from the field, 1 of 6 at the free throw line and recording six rebounds, an assist, a team-high two blocks and two thefts.
For the Statesmen, DSU was led by Sam Smith who recorded a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds. Wyatt Bell recorded a team-high five assists and was the second player to finish in double figures while Jonathan Knight led the team in thefts with three while putting up five points.
As a team, DSU shot 23 of 64 from the field (35.9%), 11 of 33 from deep (33.3%) and 7 of 10 from the free throw line (70%). In addition, the Statesmen recorded 33 rebounds, 13 assists and five steals.