Albany State Uses Late Comeback to Overtake Lady Blazers, 62-57

| February 25, 2016
Senior Imari Simpson was recognized alongside her family prior to Wednesday night's game against Albany State. source: VStateBlazers.com

Senior Imari Simpson was recognized alongside her family prior to Wednesday night’s game against Albany State. source: VStateBlazers.com

VALDOSTA, Ga. – The Valdosta State Lady Blazer basketball team fell victim to a fourth quarter comeback in a 62-57 non-conference loss to the Albany State Golden Rams on Wednesday night at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga.

Working with a 23-19 advantage at the halftime break, the Lady Blazers used a strong defensive effort in the third quarter to hold ASU scoreless for the first seven minutes of the third period. The Golden Rams ended the quarter with a 9-0 run, however, to close the gap to 40-28.

Albany State carried their momentum into the fourth quarter, and scored six additional unanswered points to pull within six at the 6:05 mark. The Lady Blazers ended their scoring drought in the final period of regulation with a Lydia Harvey three ball at the 5:03 mark, and Maggie Davis negated a Zuri Frost three-point play at the 3:57 mark with a triple of her own, which put VSU in front by nine. The Golden Rams surged again over the next two minutes, however, and put together an 8-0 run that began with two Frost free-throws and ended with a steal by Kyasha Wilson. The stretch led to a Sierra Foster jumper that trimmed VSU’s lead to 46-45. Harvey buried another clutch three ball with 1:28 to play, but Albany State’s full court defensive pressure held the Lady Blazers scoreless the rest of the way, and two close range buckets by ASU late in the period resulted in a 49-49 tie at the buzzer.

The Golden Rams continued to apply heavy pressure in the overtime period, and Kyasha Wilson connected from long range twice in the first two minutes for her only two baskets of the night. Wilson’s six points gave ASU an advantage that the Lady Blazers were unable to overcome, as the Golden Rams outscored VSU 13-8 in overtime to seal the comeback victory.

Harvey and Jo Bistrow teamed up for seven threes in the contest and led the Lady Blazers with 14 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman Aaliyah Cheatham added nine, and Madi Mitchell secured 10 rebounds in the game.

The Lady Blazers won the battle of the boards 46 to 32, but Albany State forced 20 Valdosta State turnovers in the contest, using those miscues for 26 points. Frost led the comeback effort with 22 points in the game, many of which came on a strong 8-of-9 free throw shooting display late in the contest. The only other ASU player to reach double digit figures was Artisha Holston with 11.

Imari Simpson, who missed VSU basketball’s official Senior Day two weeks ago due to a family situation, was recognized as a member of the Lady Blazers’ 2016 Senior Class prior to the game. In addition, Bistrow was recognized before the game as the 2016 recipient of the Donnie McGahee Academic Award, which honors the Lady Blazer with the highest cumulative grade point average. Bistrow earned the honor in recognition of her 3.85 cumulative GPA as a sophomore mathematics major.

Valdosta State will close out regular season play on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. against the rival Argonauts of West Florida in Pensacola, Fla. Live coverage of the contest will be available at www.vstateblazers.com.

VStateBlazers.com

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