VALDOSTA, Ga. – Valdosta State picked up another conference victory Saturday as Brittney Nelson came alive late for 16 second half points to spur VSU past Shorter, 51-40. The win improves Valdosta State to 9-3 and 2-2 in the Gulf South Conference while Shorter drops to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the GSC.
Kourtnee Williams scored 13 first half points to keep the Lady Blazers in front of Shorter and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. But it was Nelson in the second half that gave VSU the distance it needed.
Nelson finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, all but five rebounds came in the second half. Once Nelson came alive, the Lady Blazers put the game out of reach.
She made her move just over five minutes into the second half. After an offensive rebound, she buried a jumper off a Williams assist to break a 26-26 tie. Seconds later she scored after a Brooke Satterfield steal then she hit a three-pointer from Courtney Sprague.
Two minutes later Nelson scored on a lay-up for a personal 9-0 run against the Lady Hawks. With that lead, VSU built on it with an Ivana Domljanovic basket for an 11-point lead, 37-26, with 10:39 left to play. Domljanovic gave a strong effort in 22 minutes with some timely rebounds and points.
Later, Nelson gave VSU the largest lead of the night with a three-pointer off another Williams assists to make it 45-31 with 6:16 left to play. The closest Shorter would get from there was within nine, but the first time Sprague answered with a lay-up and the second time, with just 1:21 left, Nelson buried another long ball.
Outside of Nelson and Williams, the Lady Blazers received contributions from Sprague with six points and four assists, and Satterfield with three points, five rebounds, three steals and a block. Domljanovic added four points, four boards, an assists, block and steal.
The Lady Blazers continued their hot shooting, finishing 46.8 percent from the field with a 50 percent second half. Valdosta State was on firing from long range as well, finishing six of 13 from beyond the arc for 46.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the Lady Blazer defense held Shorter to just 26.9 percent shooting overall and 26.3 percent from deep.
Valdosta State also gained an advantage in second chance points, 13-6, with the 35-33 edge in rebounding.
The Lady Blazers will take to the road next for games against West Georgia at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, West Alabama at 3 p.m. Saturday and West Florida at 3 p.m. a week later.