Pensacola, FL - Valdosta State’s chances at the Gulf South Conference Tournament took a heavy blow with a 60-55 loss to West Florida in Pensacola Thursday. Valdosta State dropped to 13-12 and 6-5 in the GSC while UWF moves to 11-14 and 4-7.
The Lady Blazers coughed the ball up 26 times and only tallied nine assists in the game. Valdosta State fell behind 31-19 in the first half due to shooting just 27.3 percent from the field. In the second half, VSU mounted a comeback, shooting an impressive 54.2 percent. The Lady Blazers scored 36 second half points to 29 for West Florida, but it would not be enough to dig out of the halftime hole.
Sczeny Hartry led the team in scoring with 12 points and three assists. Amanda Haven was right behind her with 11 points of her own. Rounding out the double-digit scorers for VSU was Brittany Ferguson, coming off the bench for 10 points and seven rebounds.
Sher’Ryan Scott did most of the heavy lifting for the Argonauts, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds while Jessica Young scored 12 points with eight boards. Octavia Bearden came off the bench to drop 13 points. Krissy Diggs scored nine points with five assists and five rebounds.
Valdosta State never led, but the team scored more points in the paint and off turnovers.
The Lady Blazers fought hard. After the Argonauts secured their largest lead of the night at 17 points with 14:11 left to play, VSU responded with a nine-point run. Ferguson knocked down a jumper then minutes later made a three-point play. Four consecutive free throws from Courtney Mitchell, Haven and Bena Hanyard cut the lead to eight.
Diggs hit a jump shot from Chelsea Turgeon to break the run but VSU kept coming. Hanyard made two layups, the first coming off a Hartry assist. Then Haven made a three-point play. Ferguson followed that with a jump shot in the paint to cut the lead to three, 48-45, with 7:15 left to play.
Desiree Dotey made a three ball for West Florida to bump the lead to six, but Hartry made a jump shot to bring it back to four. Ferguson followed that with a three-point play off an Alisha Crawford assist to pull Valdosta State within one point with just under five minutes to play.
Scott made a basket to claim a 53-50 lead for West Florida, but Hartry responded with a three-pointer from Hanyard to tie the game at 53 with just over four minutes to play. That would be as close as Valdosta State would get.
The Lady Blazers will look to rebound against West Alabama Saturday.