SCORE:#2 Union 62, Valdosta State 47
RECORDS:Valdosta State 2-3 (0-1 GSC), Union 6-0 (1-0 GSC)
LOCATION:Valdosta, Ga. (The Complex)
THE LEAD: In a rematch of the South Region final from a year ago, No. 2 Union pulled away from Valdosta State for a 62-47 victory Thursday evening in the Gulf South Conference opener for both teams. VSU sophomore Kayla Bonilla had a team-high 17 points, while senior Crystal Townsendrecorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- The Lady Blazers used a 7-0 run for an 11-10 lead on an "and one" from Townsend with 2:16 left in the first quarter.
- Union quickly regained the lead with a layup from Morgan Martin, who had a game-high 21 points, but Bonilla hit a jumper late in the frame pulling VSU within 14-13 after one quarter.
- Another "and one" by the Lady Blazers pushed the lead to 16-14 early in the second quarter, but a jumper from Jada Smith and a triple from Jada Perkins gave Union a three-point cushion.
- VSU would regain the lead with a jumper from senior Maddy Corazza at 20-19 with 5:17 left in the half, but Union closed the half on an 11-1 run for a 30-21 lead at halftime.
- The teams exchanged triples out of halftime, but a 13-5 run by Union capped with a layup from Martin pushed the lead to 15 at 46-31 with 2:19 left in the third.
- The Lady Blazers cut the deficit to 13 in the fourth at 52-39, but buckets from the Bulldogs quickly swelled the lead to 17 at 57-40 with 5:37 left, en route to the 62-47 final.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- For the game, VSU shot 18 of 57 from the field for .316 percent, while going just 1 of 11 from beyond the arc and 10 of 21 from the line as the team continued its struggles shooting.
- Union shot .458 from the floor on 22 of 48, while going 5 of 13 from beyond the arc and 13 of 20 from the line.
- VSU held a 38-35 lead in rebounding and a 14-6 advantage on the offensive boards, but was unable to make it count, leading just 7-5 in second chance points.
- Both teams committed 15 turnovers in the game, while Bonilla was 6 of 7 from the field and 5 of 8 from the line with five rebounds for 17 points.
- Townsend finished 4 of 12 from the field, while going 1 of 2 from beyond the arc with the only triple made by the Lady Blazers, while pulling down ten rebounds with team-high three steals for a double-double.
- Martin was 8 of 14 for the Bulldogs, while going 5 of 7 from the line. Smith had 10 points and five assists, while Tiffany Rechis had nine points and nine rebounds.
- The loss marked the third-straight of the season for VSU as it began the year with two wins.
- The Lady Blazers will look to get back on the winning track Saturday at 6 p.m. at The Complex versus Christian Brothers.
- Fans who attend the VSU football game at 1 p.m. Saturday at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium will be admitted free to the basketball doubleheader Saturday evening with their football ticket stub.