Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

February 24, 2013

Nelson, Williams come up big for Lady Blazers

VSU women beat West Florida, 68-65

VALDOSTA — In the final home game of the season for the Valdosta State women’s basketball team, playing in the final home game of her career, Brittney Nelson teamed up with sophomore teammate Kourtnee Williams to carry the Lady Blazers to a victory over West Florida.

After blowing a 16-point first-half lead, and finding themselves in a five-point second-half deficit, Nelson and Williams took over and scored every Lady Blazer point in the final 14 minutes of regulation, earning them a 68-65 win over the Lady Argonauts.

“Kourtnee Williams is a monster,” Nelson said. “She comes and plays every game, takes matters into her own hands, scores when we need it the most and knocks down her free throws….I just think we feed off each other. I went up to her after the eighth game (of the season) and told her we needed to take leadership on the offensive end.”

Nelson and Williams combined for the final 26 points for Valdosta State, led by Williams’ 15 points during that span. The duo also came up big with the game-winning points inside the final minute.

“We had great, great shots there in the second half,” Valdosta State head coach Kiley Hill said. “We just couldn’t make it happen and then finally we were able to get them to go down and get some defensive stops.”

Teaming up to carry the Lady Blazers, Nelson and Williams got it done every way possible. From field goals to free throws to clutch three-pointers, Nelson and Williams was the catalyst that made Valdosta State run on Saturday.

Trailing 64-63 with 41 seconds remaining, Nelson made her biggest contribution of the afternoon, a 3-pointer from the corner to give the Lady Blazers a 66-64 lead.

“Hitting that three felt pretty good,” Nelson said. “I’m just glad it didn’t air ball.”

Then after West Florida closed within one, Williams made a pair of free throws to push the Lady Blazers ahead 68-65. Even when West Florida threw up its 3-pointer at the buzzer, which clanked off the front of the rim, it was Williams and Nelson defending, getting a hand in the way to secure the victory.

“It just shows how well we feed off of each other,” Williams said. “I always know she is going to be on the backside waiting for that three.”

Nelson and Williams each finished with 18 points, as Valdosta State improved to 15-9 overall and 8-8 in league play. More importantly, the Lady Blazers, who entered the weekend ranked seventh in the South Region standings, remained in the hunt for a postseason berth past next month’s Gulf south Conference tournament.

“I told them at halftime, ‘Hey we have the seventh ranking in the region and this team is below us,’” Nelson said. “So winning this game was huge.”

The Lady Blazers started with an 8-0 run and followed it up with another 8-0 run later in the first half to build a 22-8 lead. They added to their lead, going ahead 26-10 lead, their largest lead of the game.

Then West Florida made its commanding run.

Unable to produce a basket, combined with turnovers on multiple possessions, the Lady Blazers saw their lead evaporate and turn into a halftime deficit.

West Florida used a commanding 22-5 run to end the first half — which included a 12-0 run to start the comeback. During the run, the Lady Blazers failed to score for over three minutes until Kamyia Smith three-point play. Following the basket, the Lady Blazers finished the half without a field goal for the final 3:20, allowing West Florida to take the lead.

“It was completely us,” Hill said. “All their shots came off second-chance opportunities that we gave them because we weren’t blocking out and we turned the ball over. The third piece was transition. We were throwing the ball at people’s ankles and we were putting the ball in bad situations.”

Like Hill alluded to, the majority of West Florida’s success came from second-chance points. In the game, the Lady Argos outscored the Lady Blazers 23-2 in that department.

The Lady Argonauts held onto their lead throughout the half, taking a 32-31 advantage into the locker room.

In the second half, West Florida’s lead got to as many as five, coming at the beginning Nelson’s and Williams’ run.

Notes: VSU’s Brooke Satterfield left the game with a knee injury late in the second half. Hill said she will be evaluated further…The Lady Blazers were outrebounded 49-32 in the game....With a game in Memphis, Tenn. Thursday night, the Lady Blazers will fly rather than making a bus trip. It will be the first flight trip for the team this season.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

Blazers Blog