CARROLLTON, Ga. – West Georgia proved to be too much for Valdosta State Thursday night as a 40-point second half led the Wolves past VSU, 67-44. The loss drops the Lady Blazers to 9-4 on the season and 2-3 in the Gulf South Conference while West Georgia improves to 8-4 and 2-2.
Brittney Nelson tallied her eighth double-double of the season, finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds while Kamyia Smith and Kourtnee Williams combined for nine assists.
Those might have been the only positives out of the game for VSU as the Lady Blazers allowed 20 points to JaDechia Hill, a player that averages 7.3 points per game. Valdosta State also coughed the ball up 23 times on 14 West Georgia steals while only forcing 10 turnovers. The Wolves also beat VSU on the boards, 39-35.
While the Lady Blazer defense had moments, VSU allowed four double-digit scorers and a 41.7 percent shooting performance for West Georgia beyond the arc.
The Lady Blazers fell short in points in the paint, off turnovers, second chance and off the bench but did score more fast break points than the Wolves.
West Georgia jumped out to a 9-2 start until Nelson buried a three-pointer followed by one from Brooke Satterfield to make it 11-8. The Wolves responded minutes later with a 6-0 run for a nine-point lead, the largest lead of the half.
Williams broke the run with a lay-up right down the middle of the lane. West Georgia’s top scorer, Mone Peoples answered, but then the VSU defense locked down on the Wolves.
Valdosta State didn’t let the Wolves score for more than six minutes, meanwhile the Lady Blazers fought back to secure a halftime lead with a 12-0 run.
Nelson started the move, then Williams scored a three-point play the hard way. Nelson scored her second three of the game to pull within one, 25-24, forcing a timeout from West Georgia.
Out of the timeout, the Lady Blazers forced a shot clock violation, one of two VSU forced in the opening half. Williams scored next for the first VSU lead of the game, 26-25, and Ashley Johnson scored on two free throws to make it 28-25 in her first action of the season. West Georgia was able to score once more before the half to make it a one-point game at the break.
Much like the beginning of the game, West Georgia was firing early in the second half as the Wolves went on a 14-0 run. Satterfield finally broke it when Nelson found her running ahead on the break for VSU’s first points of the second half nearly six minutes into it. Nelson followed it with a quick post move for five quick points from the Lady Blazers.
Down 45-32, the Lady Blazers started to make a move. Johnson hustled the floor for an intimidating block, then VSU found Kaylee Higginbotham in the post for two points. Next, Higginbotham joined the block party and the Lady Blazers ran the floor to get Nelson a lay-up for four quick points to force a timeout from West Georgia.
The timeout was not enough to cool VSU. The Lady Blazers forced a turnover and found Smith in the corner for a three-pointer. After free throws from West Georgia, Higginbotham scored in the paint again but the Wolves countered with a three ball from Peoples.
West Georgia would go on to build a lead as high as 23 points in the second half. It would prove too much for VSU to overcome.
The Lady Blazers will stay on the road for a game against West Alabama at Pruitt Hall at 3 p.m. Saturday.