While the competition sits idle, Lady Blazers move to sole posession of second in the GSC for now.
Lady Blazers entered the night in a three-way tie, and with the win, move into position to take first place anticipating GSC results this weekend.
With their 60-41 victory over West Alabama, Lady Blazers are preparing for their battles this weekend against No. 3 Alabama-Huntsville and No. 1 North Alabama.
On the other hand, last night marked the night of Head Coach Kiley Hill’s 200th VSU victory.
After the 69-57 defeat of West Florida last Thursday, the Lady Blazers appear to be heading down the right road.
It was arguably the Lady Blazers most complete game of the season as they scored a season-high in points and held the opponent under 60 points for a fourth game in a row. Leading the way for Valdosta State was Sczeny Hartry, with 21 points, and Brittany Daniels, with 16. The Lady Blazers controlled the game in transition, as they outscored West Florida 17-2 in fast-break points.
“We always have our ups and downs on offense, but we played pretty consistent on defense in that game,” said Daniels.
Things quickly changed, though. Two days later, they traveled up the interstate to Carrollton to take on West Georgia in a game where VSU held an eight point lead with 12 minutes remaining in the game, only to lose it down the stretch by a 54-48 score.
“That was all us,” Coach Kiley Hill said. “They played the same 2-3 zone. I caught 3 passes on the sideline and if you turn it over each possession, you don’t get a chance to score. We had an 8 point lead with 12 to go and simply stopped doing what gave us that lead. Our defensive intensity completely plummeted; we didn’t get many points in transition. Next thing you know, we’re grabbing at straws.”
The importance of this game was not necessarily adding another loss in the road record, but the Gulf South Conference was up for grabs until last night.
“(The Gulf South Conference) is up for grabs. We still control our own destiny,” Hill said. “It’s the last game before the first round robin ends and it starts back over on the next Saturday. It’s a big stretch for us.”
There is a positive to take from the West Georgia game. The Lady Blazers played a relatively sloppy game, but they proved they were still in position to win the game.
“We pretty much played flat the whole game,” Daniels said. “I don’t think we were 100 percent prepared to play, but we can just learn from it and better prepare for our upcoming games.”
Game after game, the Lady Blazers have been carried by their defensive intensity and there is no doubt that they will have to keep that up, but the key down the stretch is very simple.
“We got to score. That is the million dollar word right there,” Hill said. “If we can put the little round ball in the little round hole, good things happen.”
The Lady Blazers proved hard work will pay off with the team’s and Hill’s victory.
They will go on to play North Alabama on Feb. 5 in Florence, Ala.