VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State Lady Blazers (10-4) became the first team to reach 10 wins in the GSC East after defeating Webber International (3-7), 72-24 Tuesday at the PE Complex.

“We played pretty well at times tonight,” said VSU head coach Kiley Hill after the game. “A lot of people got a lot of minutes, and overall we did a good job.”

The Lady Blazers continued their strong defensive play against the Lady Warriors. VSU held Webber to only 22.2 percent shooting in the first half, 23.7 percent overall. That was one of three goals set by Coach Hill before the game that were met.

“We had three goals tonight: To be mentally sharp, hold them to under 40 points, and shoot over 45 percent as a team,” said Hill.

The Lady Blazers did just that. As a team they shot 47.5 percent from the floor and held Webber to only 24 points. VSU shot 51.7 percent from the floor and 62.5 percent from long range in the first half.

In the first half, VSU came out scoring early and often, while making it nearly impossible for Webber to get on the board. Led by Carley Petterson’s five points, the Lady Blazers opened a 10-0 lead.

It took nearly seven minutes for the Lady Warriors to score, but the Lady Blazers kept them at bay. Janelle Collazo came off the bench to score 11 points in the first half, and Peterson had 10.

“I think as a team we played hard tonight,” said Collazo. “After playing them before, our goal this time was to limit their points, and we did.”

The bench for the Lady Blazers was clutch in the first half, scoring 21 points, while the Warriors starters only scored five. VSU not only owned the floor in the first half, but the boards as well. Valdosta State out rebounded Webber 18-4. The score at the half was VSU 38, Webber International 12.

Webber scored first in the second half on a three-pointer from Jardae Robinson, but it was all VSU after that. Tamika Booker got things going by scoring eight unanswered points for VSU.

After Webber scored two baskets the Lady Blazers went on their best run of the night. Started by a Collazo three-pointer, VSU went on a 19-0 run that lasted eight minutes. Michelle Thompson had seven points during the run.

The Lady Warriors continued to have problems, only scoring two baskets (one of which was a three-pointer) in the final 13 and a half minutes of the game. The sheer dominance by VSU couldn’t get them a 50-point win, but it was close, 72-24.

“This team can defend. The freshmen are really coming along,” said Hill. “I’m very confident in our kids.”

The big win couldn’t of come at a better time for VSU, which starts conference play next week. First up will be state-rival West Georgia.

“This game was definitely a big momentum boost for us,” said Collazo. “Come conference team we’re like, ‘bring it.’”

For VSU, Collazo led the game with 14 points including shooting 4-of-5 from three-point range. Thompson and Booker had 12 points and Petterson had 10. Booker also had a game high seven rebounds, while Leschelle Matthews had a game high five assists.

For Webber, Robinson had a team high five points and two assists.

The Lady Blazers will host West Georgia next Tuesday at the PE Complex with tip-off set for 6 p.m. The guys game will immediately follow at 8 p.m.

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