After overcoming a 15-point deficit in the second half, the University of North Alabama women's basketball team came up one point short Saturday evening, dropping a 57-56 Gulf South Conference game at Valdosta State.
The Blazers connected on nine three-point baskets, including one from Brittney Nelson with 49 seconds remaining to break a 54-54 tie. UNA added a basket by Lauren Faris on its next possession and had one last chance after VSU missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw attempt with eight seconds left.
The Lions, however, were unable to get off a potential game-winning shot as VSU's Kamyia Smith came up with a steal as time expired.
With the loss, North Alabama falls to 14-7 overall and 7-4 in GSC play to drop a half game behind Delta State in the conference standings. Valdosta State improves to 11-8 overall and 4-7 in league action.
On Saturday, The lions trailed 35-21 at the half and were down 40-25 with 17:02 remaining before rallying to get back in the game. A pair of free throws by Jennifer Towne capped a 20-4 run and gave UNA its first lead of the second half at 45-44 with 7:12 to play.
North Alabama added another free throw by Nichelle Fillmore to extend its lead to 46-44 with 5:42 remaining before the Blazers answered with five straight points.
The score was tied at 52-52 when VSU took the lead for good on a jumper at the 1:40 mark. After UNA tied the game on a basket by Mekena Randle, Nelson's three-pointer proved to be the winning shot for the Blazers.
Randle finished with 21 points and nine rebounds to lead UNA. Nelson paced VSU with a game-high 22 points on the evening.
UNA will return to Flowers Hall for its next two GSC games, beginning with a 6 p.m. contest against Christian Brothers on Thursday. The Lions will host Delta State the following Saturday at 1 p.m.