Off of their 86-36 win over Webber International on Friday night, Valdosta State (7-1) scored the first basket of the game with a layup from Leschelle Matthews in the first 15 seconds of play. The next several minutes were a see-saw battle until the Lady Blazers broke away on a 9-0 run to go up 18-6 after a three-pointer from Carley Peterson.
Columbus State (4-3) came back to within three points with a jumper from Maria Grimes but it wasn't enough as Michelle Thompson drained a three to put VSU back up by six. Another basket by Thompson and free throws from Ewelina Gad put the Lady Blazers up 29-19 at the half.
VSU shot 40%, going 10-for-25 from the field and forced 10 CSU turnovers. The Cougars only shot 29.2% from the floor, hitting seven-of-24 shots.
Columbus State hit the first basket of the second half, only to have Valdosta State answer back with the next three. The next several minutes were a see-saw battle with the two teams battling back and forth for the possession. With seven minutes left, the Cougars went on a 14-0 run that lasted five minutes. Leschelle Matthews ended VSU's dry spell with a jumper that kept VSU's lead, 52-49.
With 1:10 left in the game, CSU's Thessa Washington hit a layup to put them within one. Gad hit a layup with 33 seconds left to put VSU back up by three, 54-51. Columbus State missed their next three shots until Turelle Jones shot a layup to put the Cougars back to within one with two seconds left in the ballgame. After several timeouts and a CSU foul, VSU reassured their victory after Julie Kongeskov hit two free-throws with less than a minute left to give VSU a 56-53 win over Columbus State.
Gad led all players and shot a career and season high 17 points and also had 10 rebounds, her first double-double. Peterson scored nine points while Thompson and Matthews each had eight points.
As a team, VSU made 19-of-52 baskets from the floor (36.5%) and were 12-of-13 from the free-throw line (92.3%). Forcing 21 turnovers, the Lady Blazers had five steals and 30 rebounds.
Columbus State was led by Jones with 15 points. CSU shot 39.6% from the field (19-of-48) and forced 19 turnovers and had six steals and 35 rebounds.
The Lady Blazers do not play again until they travel to Nova Southeastern on December 9 for a 2 pm game.
Courtesy of vstateblazers.com