Courtesy of VSU athletics:
VALDOSTA, GA– The Lady Blazers took Columbus State to the edge Tuesday night, but fell in overtime, 57-54. The loss drops Valdosta State to 4-5 while Columbus State moves to 4-3 on the year.
The game was back-and-forth much of the way with seven lead changes and 10 ties. The largest lead was seven by Columbus State in the second half, but it wouldn't last long.
Trailing by seven, Brittany Daniels made a jumper from Sczeny Hartry to cut the lead to five, and then Amanda Haven went on her own run, single-handedly pulling the Lady Blazers ahead.
She brought down an offensive rebound and made the put back. She converted the free throw to complete the three-point play and pull VSU within two points. Less than a minute later, Haven cashed in on another jumper to tie it, and then put back another rebound to gain the lead, 43-41.
Haven finished with nine points as did Leschelle Matthews to lead the team. Matthews added two assists and four steals. Sierra Nixon scored eight points and two others put in seven. Nixon also contributed 12 rebounds, six steals and four blocks.
Nixon and Haven teamed with Hartry and Courtney Mitchell scored 25 points off the bench for Valdosta State.
Columbus State's Phebe Smith scored 17 points, brought down 14 rebounds and tallied four blocks. Deniese Campbell scored 10 points in the contest for CSU.
Down 27-18 in rebounds at halftime, Nixon and Tamika Booker wiped the glass clean the second half, finishing with 25 rebounds between the two of them and led Valdosta State to a 21-12 advantage on the glass in the second half.
Neither team shot well from three-point range. Three Lady Blazers knocked down one trey each on a 21.4 shooting percentage from distance, and the Cougars went three for nine outside. Columbus State took it to the lane instead with 38 points in the paint and 15 on second chance. The Cougars also held an advantage on fast break points (14-4) and points off turnovers (23-18).
Still, the Lady Blazers were able to gain a three-point lead with 17 seconds left in regulation, but Monique Jefferson's three-pointer from the corner forced overtime. Nakita Holt scored the only three points in overtime to win it for Columbus State.
Valdosta State will next be in action against the defending Gulf South Conference Champion Delta State Lady Statesmen at 6 p.m. Tuesday.