Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

January 9, 2014

Lady Blazer’s Basketball looks to knock off North Alabama

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State and North Alabama collide tonight in Florence, Ala., and each team enters the game with a full head of steam after both squads pulled off incredible come back victories over their opponents on Monday night.

North Alabama trailed Lee by 20 points at halftime before an offensive second half burst allowed the Lions to claim an overtime victory over the Flames.

In similar fashion, Valdosta State overcame a 16 point halftime deficit to defeat the UAH Chargers 89-81.

Tonight, the Lady Blazers face the tough task of trying to knock off a 7-3 North Alabama team on the hardwood at Flowers Hall in Florence. In the 2013-14 season thus far, the Lions are undefeated on their home floor.

While the Lady Blazers have flourished at home this season, the team has struggled on the road with a 1-2 record. With four straight road games on the horizon, Valdosta State will look to the hot shooting and stellar contributions off the bench to end their traveling woes.

Thanks in large part to April Thomas, Valdosta State is currently averaging 32.0 points per game off the bench.

Thomas most recently scored 24 points against the Chargers, with a whopping 22 of those points coming in the second half. The junior has been lethal from long range with a GSC leading .422 percentage from beyond the arc. Her 27 three pointers this season place her second among all GSC players.

The return of Kourtnee Williams has only improved bench production, as the guard tallied 17 points against UAH on Monday night in only her second game back.

Lady Blazer senior Kamyia Smith will look to carry over the best offensive night of her VSU career into Thursday night's contest, after the guard poured in 22 points against UAH on Monday night.

The Lions bring a potent offense to the table with an average of 75.6 points per game this season.

UNA's defense, however, is allowing an average of nearly 67 points per game, which places them seventh in the GSC in scoring defense.

Valdosta State will face the challenge of slowing down two of the top five scorers in the conference. Junior guard Lauren Faris, the reigning GSC Player of the Week, stands as the GSC's third highest scorer with an average of 18.0 points per game this season, while sophomore Jennifer Towne holds the league's fifth highest points per game average at 16.5.

The two teams match up evenly on the boards this season with each pulling down an average of 39.0 rebounds per game, and only a few tenths of a point separate the two in field goal percentage, as VSU is shooting .410 from the field against UNA's .395 shooting average.

Blazer Nation can follow the game with live stats and audio, both available at www.vstateblazers.com. Also, get live updates on Twitter by following @BlazerAthletics.

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