Valdosta, GA (AP) - In a back-and-forth game that looked like whichever team took the last shot would win, Valdosta State fell, 70-66, to Albany State Friday night to drop to 4-5 on the season.
Brittany Ferguson continued to show her scoring prowess, dropping 20 points, 12 in the first half, on the Golden Rams. She also brought down 13 rebounds.
Sczeny Hartry showed up to score 13 points and give six assists. She also had four steals and three rebounds. Shakeda Richie finished with 10 points while Brittany Daniels went for nine points and nine rebounds.
Valdosta State did crash the boards for 39 rebounds to just 26 for Albany State, but VSU gave the ball up 27 times.
Albany State started strong, racing to a 7-2 lead, but Valdosta State fought back to tie it at 20 on a Ferguson coast-to-coast basket. The Lady Blazers took the lead on the ensuing possession when Richie hit a shot from the short corner on the break.
Later, after Amanda Haven scored five consecutive points for VSU, she found Daniels for a turnaround jumper in the lane to regain the lead, 29-28, with 4:42 left in the half. Then Ferguson turned on the juice.
She scored six consecutive points on fast breaks to help VSU close out strong for a one-point lead, 35-34, at the half.
The first half was Ferguson’s. She tallied 12 points, seven rebounds, four steals and two blocks. But Valdosta State received contributions from a number of players in the first frame.
Haven scored eight points, including the team’s only three-pointer of the half, and Daniels led the team in rebounding with eight. Valdosta State hit the boards to do more than double up Albany State’s rebounds, 27-12.
Both teams continued to jockey back and forth to start the second half. With 10 minutes left to play, the Lady Blazers found themselves down, 53-52.
Richie hit big shots throughout the game to either tie or grab a VSU lead. With 7:13 left, Richie buried another one for three to snag a 57-55 lead. Albany State’s Beneidra Colbert answered for the Golden Rams, but Ferguson made two free throws to stay ahead.
Albany State went on a 6-0 run late to make it 63-59 before Daniels ended the run with free throws. The Golden Rams answered, but Hartry came right back with a runner in the lane to pull within two, 65-63, with 1:09 to play.
Jennifer Harper hit the next shot for Albany State for a four-point lead. After that, Valdosta State was forced to put the Golden Rams on the free throw line. Kourtney Alexander made both free throws, but the Ferguson answered with a three-pointer to pull within three, 69-66, with 5.6 seconds left. It was not enough time.
The Lady Blazers return to The Complex to face another foe from the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Fort Valley State, at 3 p.m. Sunday.