CLINTON, Miss. –– It was a tale of two halves Thursday as the Valdosta State women's basketball team held a 34-28 lead at halftime at Mississippi College, but was outscored 47-21 in the second half as the Choctaws handed VSU a 76-55 setback Thursday evening. VSU fell to 16-7 and 8-7 in Gulf South Conference play, while MC improved to 10-12 overall and 7-9 in league play.
Despite the poor shooting, VSU had four players in double figures led by 14 points from junior Kayla Bonilla, while seniors Cheray Saunders and Nari Garner each added 11 points and junior Delaney Bernard added ten points.
VSU shot 14 of 32 from the field in the first half en route to the lead, but shot just 4 of 19 from the field in the second half. VSU finished the game 18 of 51 from the field, 5 of 18 from range and 14 of 19 from the line. MC held a 41-21 lead in rebounding for the game, including 25-13 on the defensive end.
Mississippi College shot a blistering 15 of 24 from the field in the second half and shot 49 percent from the field, while draining eight treys and went 18 of 25 from the line, including 15 of 19 from the line in the second half. Zariah Matthews had a game-high 24 points on 7 of 8 from the field, 3 of 4 from beyond the arc and 7 of 7 from the line. Coco Hobson added 16 point and 11 rebounds, while Shanell Kitchens added four treys for 12 points.
VSU built as many as a six-point lead early in the game and settled for a 17-17 score through the first quarter. In the second quarter, the teams traded the lead, but VSU closed the half on a 7-0 run for a 34-28 lead at the break. In all, the game saw seven ties and nine lead changes.
MC then used a 21-10 spurt in the third quarter for a 44-45 lead, but the it began the fourth with a decisive 15-0 run, before Bernard buried a triple for the first made field goal of the frame for VSU with 5:29 left.
The Lady Blazers head to Cleveland, Miss., looking to even the season series with the Lady Statesmen today at 3 p.m. ET. Fans can access links to live stats, audio/video streaming, ticket information and more at vstateblazers.com on the women's basketball schedule page.