The Lady Blazers basketball team notched their first conference victory last week and on Saturday, followed it up by getting their first road win by defeating Lambuth 57-49.
The win is much more than a road victory, though. The win puts the Blazers at 2-1 in conference and that will be crucial during conference tournament time.
“For us, it’s about going out and getting the next ‘W’,” Kiley Hill, head coach, said. “It puts us up in the league.”
The key to this game was the Lady Blazers dominance in the paint both offensively and on the glass.
“We did some positive, positive things on the offensive ends,” Hill said.
As a result, the Lady Blazers shot a season-high 47 percent from the field, which is an encouraging sign for a team that has been struggling on the offensive end.
Leading the way for VSU was junior forward, Brittany Daniels, with a season-high 18 points on 8-11 shooting. Hill attributes that to a couple things: making the pass and being in the right position to score.
“One of our pieces is we have got to be able to put the ball in certain positions in the post area,” Hill said. “We’re trying to do different passes to make that happen; some days it works, some days it doesn’t. It’s worked two games in a row so we’ll keep plugging away.”
“To be tournament tough, to be championship tough, it goes down to free throws and rebounding.”
The Lady Blazers got the job done by controlling the rebounding department as VSU out-rebounded Lambuth 37-23. Brittany Ferguson, Dominique Smith, and Courtney Mitchell each contributed six rebounds.
“From a rebounding standpoint, it’s all about two things: heart and brain. If you have those two things you can go rebound,” Hill said.
All season, the Lady Blazers have had trouble finishing off games and simply scoring the basketball. Lambuth made two late game surges to try and get back into the game after VSU took a 20 point lead with 14 minutes left in the second half. The Lady Blazers would not freeze though, as they held onto the lead and made key shots in big moments.
“In November, and the majority of December, we would get that lead and people would make that push and we weren’t able to make the shots in pressure situations or we wouldn’t make that defensive stop,” Hill said. “We began to show a new character side in Lambuth and also against Huntsville, where people did make that push and we didn’t freeze.”
However, the last two games have been very encouraging for Hill and he believes the mentality of his team has changed for better.
“Do the things we practiced and good things will happen,” Hill said. “If the ball goes in the hole, great, if it doesn’t go, make a stop and try again.”
The Lady Blazers will host West Florida at 8 p.m. tonight.