VALDOSTA, Ga. – A tight Gulf South Conference matchup ended favorably for the Valdosta State women's basketball team, as the Lady Blazers returned to form and outlasted West Alabama for an 85-80 victory at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga. on Saturday.
The highlight of the night was Valdosta State's offensive performance, which escalated quickly after Kenya Samone' Dixon connected for her first three of the game at the 7:25 mark in the opening quarter. The basket cut into an early 7-0 lead for the Tigers, and Samone' Dixon was relentless on the attack throughout the rest of the quarter. The junior shot a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc, and Valdosta State managed to fashion a 21-19 lead by the end of the frame.
Valdosta State's defense then took over in the second quarter and allowed the Tigers to score just 10 points. In contrast, the Lady Blazers put up 17 points, which opened up a 38-29 advantage for the red and black at halftime.
The second half proved to be a battle, as West Alabama trimmed into VSU's lead with 24 third-quarter points. Trailing by just five heading into the final period, the Tigers pulled to within one point of the Lady Blazers seven different times in the final ten minutes and tied the game twice within the final four minutes. A gritty VSU squad held on, however, and a three-point play by Madi Mitchell inside the 3:00 mark proved to be the deciding moment, as VSU led the rest of the way.
Samone' Dixon obliterated her previous career-high with a total of 31 points on the day, while Mitchell added 18 points and Cheatham racked up 17. The Lady Blazers also enjoyed additional production on offense with scoring numbers from four other players.
The win boosted VSU back into a tie for second place in the GSC standings with a 9-6 overall record, 6-3 in conference play. Meanwhile, the Tigers dropped to 2-12 overall and 1-8 versus league opponents.
Next up, it's a 6:00 p.m. showdown against the Lady Statesmen of Delta State. The game has a tip time of 6:00 p.m. at The Complex on Thursday, January 19th.