The struggles continue. And it was sloppy, too.
For the fifth time in its last six games, the Valdosta State women’s basketball team lost a conference game. This time, the Lady Blazers fell to Union 54-50 Thursday night at The Complex.
Valdosta State is now 10-8 overall and a dismal 3-7 in Gulf South Conference play. Union, in its first year competing against Division II competition, improved to 13-5 overall and a league-leading 8-2 in GSC action.
Regardless, Valdosta State head coach Kiley Hill remains optimistic on his team’s potential.
“We have to make some minor changes and we have to grow up a little,” Hill said. “We still have a bunch of young puppies. We have to stop making so many poor decisions and success will find us. … There is a phrase I’ve used for years, and I still use it: Winning is not an accident.”
The Lady Blazers were sloppy all night and went through massive stretches without making a field goal. The VSU women finished the night with just 21 field goals and 17 turnovers, which led to 12 Union points.
Union wasn’t much better. Playing without three of their best post players, the Lady Bulldogs connected on just 18 of their 54 field goal attempts and committed 13 turnovers.
“It goes back to consistency,” Hill said. “We consistently turn the ball over at crucial situations. We missed too many two-footers. …. Defensively, we are giving up too many offensive rebounds in major possessions late. We forget what we are doing at times.”
For much of the night, the Lady Blazers actually had more turnovers than field goals, allowing Union to lead the majority of the way.
In the first half, the Lady Blazers committed 11 turnovers, which led to eight Union points, while managing just nine field goals on 29 attempts.
“I think the biggest thing is, some of our kids still don’t know where to go and what to do,” Hill said. “We still have certain kids that don’t know what to do or where they are supposed to be, no matter if I draw it up during a timeout.”
The teams swapped the lead seven times in the first half, with Union building a lead as large as six points, coming with 5:02 remaining. Valdosta State’s largest lead was just two in the half, coming at the 15-minute mark. It was the Lady Blazers’ only lead of the first half.
Valdosta State got the lead twice in the second half, both coming in a three minute stretch early in play.
Union grabbed the lead back a few possessions later and outscored the Lady Blazers 8-2 to extend its lead to six points, 39-33.
VSU responded with a quick 5-0 run to close back within one with seven minutes remaining.
That was the closest the Lady Blazers would get. In fact, Union built onto its lead, which got as large as seven points with 1:49 left.
Trailing by seven inside the final minute, the Lady Blazers closed within five points until Courtney Sprague banked a meaningless 3-pointer off the glass as time expired.
Amy Philamlee led Union with 16 points. Astrid Huttemann and Christina Coney added 10 points each.
Brittney Nelson and Kourtnee Williams scored 13 points apiece for Valdosta State. Courtney Sprague added 10 points.
Valdosta State will host North Alabama at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The struggles continue. And it was sloppy, too.
- Local Sports
Blazers fall to Molloy in eight innings
With only one out remaining and trailing by three, the Molloy Lions strung together four hits to plate three runs in the seventh followed by another run in the eighth inning to defeat Valdosta State’s softball team 5-4 in the first round of the 2013 Division II Softball National Championship Tournament on Thursday in Salem, Va.
Albritton, Johnson earn All-America honors
Valdosta State softball players Courtney Albritton and Morgan Johnson gathered multiple All-America honors late Wednesday night.
Golfers take course for Wounded Warriors
Local patrons participated in the Wounded Warrior Project Golf Tournament at Stone Creek Golf Club in Valdosta on Thursday.
Valwood football hosting 4-man scramble golf tourney
Head coach Ashley Henderson and the Valwood football team will be hosting a 4-man scramble golf tournament at Valdosta Country Club Friday, June 14.
VHS football cheerleaders to host Junior Cheer Camp
The Valdosta High School football cheerleaders will be hosting a Junior Cheer Camp June 5 through June 7 at the W.G. Nunn Elementary School gymnasium.
Gillespie, McPherson pleased with spring practices
Valdosta’s Rance Gillespie and Lowndes’ Randy McPherson both think their football teams got better during the recent 10 days of spring practice.
Then again, both coaches know their teams have a ways to go before the start of the football season.
Signing day at VHS
It was signing day galore at Valdosta High School Wednesday.
Six student-athletes signed national letter of intents to compete at the next level, while two VHS athletes both signed academic scholarships to Division I universities.
Powell signs with Shorter
Robert Powell, a member of the basketball team on South Georgia State College’s Waycross Campus, has signed a letter of intent to continue his basketball career at Shorter University in Rome.
Sending the Blazers off
The Valdosta State softball team made the long journey to Salem, Va. Tuesday, leaving Valdosta at 10:30 a.m. with devoted fans cheering them out of the parking lot.
All-Region teams announced
Lowndes was one win away from a trip to the Class AAAAAA state semifinals, and the success by the Vikings this season showed when the All-Region 1 baseball teams were announced Monday.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Blazers fall to Molloy in eight innings