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Blazers' basketball towers over Shorter

Jan. 19—VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Blazers returned home to The Complex Thursday to compete against Shorter University's Hawks.

The Lady Blazers continue to impress, with the win against the Hawks being their 12th straight. The men's basketball team also triumphed over Shorter, breaking a four-game loss streak.

Lady Blazers

Coming into the game with an 11-game win streak, it is no surprise the Lady Blazers performed once again against Shorter. The game started with a solid first quarter from Valdosta State, putting up 28 points to Shorter's eight. Two three-pointers came from Lady Blazer Emma Martin in the first five minutes of the first quarter.

Three Valdosta athletes ended the game with double-digit points, with Lili Long at 12, Aleisha Curry at 13, and Victoria Ikenasio at 15. The Lady Blazers' shooting only improved in the second quarter, with the team averaging 61% on their field goals in 21 shots. The Blazers made four out of six of their second-quarter three-pointers.

The third quarter would be the only one in which Shorter outscored the Lady Blazers. The Lady Hawks improved their shooting coming out of halftime with a field goal percentage of 50% over Valdosta State's 25. The third quarter ended 62-38.

The final quarter ended quickly as the Lady Blazers returned to form to finish the game. Only allowing seven points from Shorter, Valdosta State's defense and offense turned up again to finish the game. A three-pointer from Long pushed their lead further, and a rush into the paint by Lady Blazer Erin Whalen ended the game 74-45.

Blazers

Ready to rid themselves of their loss streak, the Blazers put on an intense, high-scoring game. The two teams stayed close in the first half, only for Valdosta State to take off with a lead in the second.

The game would have five Blazers put double-digit points up, led by LaTrell Tate, who had 19 total points—followed by Jay Rucker with his first double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Tate would shoot three three-pointers, two being back-to-back, with three minutes left in the first half. The Blazers formed a slight lead at the end of the first half, with the score being 38-30.

VSU impressively put up another 45 points in the second half. Averaging an overall field goal percentage of 50, Valdosta State stayed a threat wherever they were shooting from. The team scored 20 points through inside jumpers, with half coming from Tate.

The second half would have the Blazers take off with a 20-point lead over shorter. The two teams would trade baskets for the last few minutes of the game, ultimately ending with a final score of 83-65 for the Blazers.

The Valdosta State Blazers return to The Complex Saturday to face Lee University. The Lady Blazers game will be at 2 p.m., with the men's game to follow.