CLEVELAND, Miss. - Delta State never trailed as the Lady Statesmen defeated Valdosta State 77-63 in Gulf South Conference women's basketball action at Sillers Colliseum Saturday afternoon.
With the win, DSU improved to 18-8 overall and 13-5 in GSC play while Valdosta State fell to 16-10 and 9-9.
After the teams traded baskets to open the game, Delta State scored the game's next six points to take a lead it would not relinquish. The Lady Statesmen lead hit nine points at th 14:52 mark of the first half and stood above five for the majority of the frame while a Jasmine Mapp three-pointer at the 2:47 mark pulled Valdosta State to within 26-24.
DSU responded with the next four points to regain the lead and eventually built a 34-28 halftime edge.
Both teams shot well during the first 20 minutes of play as Delta State made 13-of-25 attempts for 52.0 percent while the Lady Blazers made 10-of-20. However, Valdosta State committed 17 turnovers in the frame that limited their offense success.
The two offenses cooled off in the second half as VSU made nine of its 24 shots while the Lady Statesmen completed 10 of 26. The Lady Blazers committed 11 more turnovers in the frame.
Delta State scored the first four points of the second half to push itslead into double digits for the first time only to have Valdosta State later use a 9-0 run to close to within two points. Brittney Nelson opened the spurt with a pair of free throws before Mapp hit a bucket and Kourtnee Williams two more free throws. Courtney Sprague got VSU two within 42-40 with a three-pointer at the 14:50 mark.
The Lady Statesmen answered the run with a 15-2 spurt of its own to regain its double digit advantage and evntually led by as much as 62-44. VSU got no closer than nine points the rest of the game.
Nelson led Valdosta State with 18 points while Sprague added 11. Williams and Kamyia Smith had 10 points each as VSU shot 43.2 percent from the floor in the game.
Chelsey Rhodes led Delta State with 24 points while Seneca Walton added 22 and Brittany Roberts 15. The Lady Statesmen had 13 steals in the game and shot 45.1 percent from the field.
Valdosta State returns to action Friday when it opens the Gulf South Conference Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.