Valdosta, GA - In a game that saw every Valdosta State Lady Blazer on the active roster play within the first eight minutes of the game, Brittany Ferguson and Courtney Mitchell scored 21 and 10 points respectively to lead VSU past Flagler, 61-49.
The Lady Blazers put together a strong performance in the team’s first non-conference game since the last day of 2011. With the victory, Valdosta State moves to 14-4 on the season and 9-1 in The Complex.
Flagler hit the first basket in the contest for a three-point lead, the Saints’ only lead of the night. Valdosta State answered with a Ferguson lay-up and two jump shots to gain a 6-5 lead in the early going. Valdosta State never looked back.
Ferguson hit another jump shot for four consecutive baskets, then Mitchell got in on the fun with a jump shot from the free throw line. Brittney Nelson then scored on a lay-up before Flagler finally broke the run that gave VSU a 12-5 lead less than five minutes into the game.
After Flagler scored, Valdosta State continued the onslaught with a jumper from Amber Bond, a lay-up from Kaylee Higginbotham and a three-pointer from Jordan Waugh to increase the VSU lead to 12 points, 19-7 with 12:03 left to play. The Lady Blazers were able to maintain that lead throughout the rest of the game, even building it as high as 19 points two minutes into the second half.
Not only did Ferguson turn in a 21-point performance, but she did it in an efficient 16 minutes in which she was 10 of 12 from the floor. Mitchell scored her 10 points on five of eight shooting in 17 minutes.
Bena Hanyard and Waugh were two more players that stodd out for VSU. Hanyard scored four points with two rebounds, but gave out five assists and stole the ball four times. Waugh scored five points with five boards and gave out three assists.
Valdosta State shot 50.9 percent from the floor and 65.4 percent in the first half. The three-point shooting was outstanding in the first half as well, hitting two of three for 66.7 percent. The Lady Blazers finished shooting 33.3 percent from long range.
Meanwhile, the Valdosta State defense shut down Flagler, forcing 22 turnovers on 11 steals for the night. The Lady Blazers scored 24 points off turnovers and six points on the break. Valdosta State’s defense held Flagler to just 29.2 percent shooting from the field and 11.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc in the first half. The Saints finished at 39.5 percent from the field and 15.4 percent on three balls.
Even though the Lady Blazers were outrebounded, 31-26, Valdosta State scored 13 second chance points to just nine for Flagler. The balanced attack VSU sent out with nine Lady Blazers scoring accounted for 28 points off the bench.
Flagler’s Taye’Lor Trotter and Jen Knurek led the Saints in scoring with 15 each. Knurek brought down 10 rebounds to lead all players. Treva Mason turned in a 12-point, seven-rebound night.
Valdosta State will look to parlay Thursday night’s success into continued success in conference play when the Lady Blazers face the West Florida Argonauts at 6 p.m. Saturday in The Complex.