A rimmed out April Thomas trifecta separated Valdosta State from pulling out a comeback against Christian Brothers Saturday night in the P.E. Complex.
Back in action following a tough loss to No. 12 Delta State on Thursday, VSU fell to CBU 67-60, in a game that saw a tale of two halves for VSU.
CBU came out of the gates strong and built a 36-25 score by halftime.
VSU used the deep ball to their advantage in the first half, knocking down 5 of 11 threes. Kourtnee Williams and April Thomas each made two.
Aside from the sharp shooting from behind the arc, the Lady Blazers found it difficult to get the ball in the paint. CBU played tight defense, forcing eight turnovers, helping them pull out to a double-digit lead.
CBU scoring leader Erica Burgess nearly equaled her 16.3 scoring average with 15 in the first half.
For VSU, it was Williams who led her team in points at halftime with 8 points, followed by Thomas’s six points.
The second half was much different for VSU, who got the score as low as five points in just over seven minutes of play in the second half.
A crucial moment in the game came during a 46-44 juncture, which lasted for over two minutes before CBU scored on another Ridgell basket.
During the stretch, VSU had several attempts at evening the score, but couldn’t seize the moment. Thomas’s three pointer brought the score 48-47, but Christian Brother’s extended their lead back out to 56-47 before long with 5:09 remaining.
VSU did not give up, however, and a resilient effort would allow them to make one final push to 63-60 before the Thomas’s three-point heave.
CBU nailed its next four of five free throws to seal the victory.
“I think from this point out we need to regroup as a team. We need to be able to communicate together on the floor, to help one another out. We need to be able to talk to our teammates, and just come together as one,” VSU forward Amy Duke said.
Ridgell finished with the game-high 25 points along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Burgess also helped by scoring 17 points and had five steals and five rebounds.
For VSU, it was Williams, who led the team in scoring with 17 points and had four steals. Thomas contributed with 13 points on 4-8 shooting from behind the three-point line. Reshaundra Owens and Kamyia Smith each finished 8 points apiece.
The Lady Blazers will be on the road for their next contest against West Florida, and will return to the P.E. Complex to play Lee University Feb. 1.
This article was written by Neil Frawley.