Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

January 4, 2013

Williams’ basket carries Lady Blazers past UAH, 54-51

VSU earns its first GSC win of 2012-13 season

VALDOSTA — Much like she did against St. Leo earlier this season, sophomore guard Kourtnee Williams came up clutch for the Lady Blazers when they needed it the most.

Williams connected on a game-winning field goal with 20.2 seconds remaining to lift Valdosta State’s women’s basketball team to a 54-51 win over Gulf South Conference rival Alabama-Huntsville Thursday night inside the P.E. Complex.

“I’m going to do whatever it takes,” Williams said. “If it is going to take me to hit the clutch shot, I’ll take the clutch shot.”

Williams’ go-ahead basket was just the Lady Blazers’ third lead of the night, all of which came inside the final 11 minutes of the game. Following Williams’ basket, VSU forced a missed field goal by Alabama-Huntsville on the other end, sending senior Brittney Nelson to the free throw line.

Nelson converted the front end of a 1-and-1, making the score 54-51. Then, after back-to-back timeouts by UAH, Nelson intercepted the inbounds pass to secure the win.

“We were able to battle and battle and battle,” Valdosta State head coach Kiley Hill said. “Once we took the lead, there was a different demeanor with our kids. We couldn’t get over the hill and then we finally got over that hump, and it took the weight off our shoulders. We started to do things positively.”

The Lady Blazers secured their first conference win of the season (they entered the game with an 0-2 record in GSC play). More importantly, the Lady Blazers protected their home floor, something Hill stressed to his team prior to the game.

“This is our home floor; we have to protect it,” Williams said. “Nobody is going to come in here and win on our home floor. That is our motto the whole season.”

Williams finished with 13 points on the night, while freshman Courtney Sprague finished with a team-high 15 points.

The Lady Blazers connected on 45 percent of their field goal attempts in the win.

“I think we could have shot even higher,” Hill said. “We allowed contact to bother us, especially in the first half.”

With emotions running high in a highly contested first half, both coaches were seen arguing calls with the sideline referee about various calls. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the half, Hill was given a technical foul for arguing a call regarding a foul on Williams.

The Lady Blazers were able to use that emotion to close their deficit before the half, and carried it into the second half.

“I was upset at two things. I was upset at our kids. We weren’t doing what we needed to be doing and we were beating ourselves,” Hill said. “Then we battled back and got within three, and then there were some things that happened. I got a technical, and I thought we needed some of that emotion, and I was going to get that.”

Huntsville converted both free throw attempts off the technical foul and then added a free throw to grab a 27-21 lead. The Lady Blazers added a basket to close their halftime deficit to 27-23.

Neither team was overly impressive early in the first half, especially Valdosta State.

The Lady Blazers struggled shooting and committed five turnovers. They failed to convert a field goal until the 14:08 mark of the half. Alabama-Huntsville wasn’t much better, grabbing just a 6-0 lead prior to the Lady Blazers’ basket.

From there, the Lady Blazers closed within one point, but allowed UAH to get a lead as large as nine points before closing within four at the half.

“It says that we play to the end,” Williams said. “It isn’t how you start; it is about how you finish. We finish strong.”

Valdosta State hosts Shorter Saturday at 2 p.m. at the P.E. Complex in Valdosta.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

Blazers Blog
More