Fort Lauderdale, FL - Valdosta State claimed a 10-point lead at halftime and used it to spearhead a 53-48 victory over Nova Southeastern in the team’s season opener Friday evening at the Tipoff Classic Basketball Tournament hosted by Nova Southeastern.
Valdosta State’s star seniors stepped up for the Lady Blazers in the game, both leading VSU in scoring. Sczeny Hartry dropped 14 points and hit two of the team’s three three-pointers. She turned on the defense with five steals and added two assists and three rebounds. Brittany Ferguson scored 13 points with a team high six rebounds, an assist, a block and two steals.
Rounding out the double-digit Lady Blazers was Bena Hanyard. She scored 11 points from the point guard position while giving two assists. She added three rebounds and a steal. Hanyard was efficient for VSU with a three of four shooting from the field and five of seven from the free throw line.
The best scorer for Valdosta State off the bench was Jordan Waugh. She logged 26 minutes, 16 minutes more than any other VSU player off the bench. She knocked down the other three-pointer for Valdosta State and finished with five points, four steals, three rebounds and two assists.
Valdosta State started hot, shooting 40 percent from the field in the first half and 50 percent from long range. The VSU defense, meanwhile, held Nova Southeastern to 16.7 percent from long range and 31.6 overall in a first half that ended with the Lady Blazers leading, 32-22.
The Sharks caught fire in the second half, shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three-point land. Valdosta State was able to make 70 percent of its free throws in the game while NSU only shot 56.5 percent from the charity stripe.
Valdosta State also beat out Nova Southeastern on the boards by a margin of 38-34. Helping Ferguson on the glass was Maylisa Johnson and Courtney Mitchell, both adding five boards each. The Lady Blazers beat NSU on both the offensive and defensive glass.
The Lady Blazers will look to start the season with a streak at 7 p.m. at Barry Saturday.