VALDOSTA, Ga. - The Columbus State Lady Cougars limited Valdosta State to shoot just 37 percent (20-for-54) from the floor and 54 points but fell 54-51 to the Lady Blazers on Thursday evening. The game was a part of the Days INNvitational hosted by VSU.
With the loss, CSU is now 5-3 while Valdosta improves to 6-2.
"We knew it was going to be a tough battle coming into here", said CSU head coach Jonathan Norton. "We were really poor rotating on defense and allowed their shooters to get open. Valdosta State was way more physical than us tonight and it showed."
Despite their own shooting woes, the Lady Cougars still had a late opportunity to tie the game with a last second shot but their half court pass was intercepted.
The game was tight throughout with neither team having a lead larger than five points. The two sides were knotted nine times and there were 17 lead changes in the game.
Valdosta State took an early 9-6 lead before the Lady Cougars rattled off five straight points to take their first lead of the game at the 12:05 mark in the first half. Chatil Bradford connected on a three-point bucket to give CSU the 11-9 advantage.
From the 10:57 mark till the end of the first half, neither team had a lead larger than three points. Brittany Ferguson went 2-for-2 from the free throw line after she was fouled at the buzzer to tie the game up at 27 at the end of the half.
Coming out of the break, both teams exchanged baskets until VSU stretched their lead to five (36-31) at the 14:58 mark left in the game.
The Lady Cougars would then go on a 10-4 run to take a slim 41-40 advantage with 9:39 remaining in the game. Four different CSU players scored during the spurt including Dominique Gilbert who picked up her first field goal of the game at the 10:42 mark.
Columbus State would take their final lead of the game when Asha Alexander grabbed a rebound and laid it back in to make it 45-43 Lady Cougars with 5:49 left in the game.
It was short lived as Sczeny Hartry knocked in a three-point basket to give the hosts the lead just 18 seconds later.
Alexander would tie the game the final time with a layup with 90 seconds left in the game.
The Lady Cougars could not contain Ferguson nor Hartry as they netted 19 and 18 points, respectively. Ferguson also grabbed a game high 13 rebounds for a double-double. Hartry went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Chatil Bradford was the lone CSU player in double figures as she scored 10 points. Eight other players scored at least two points.