UNA women bounce back with much needed win

UNA women bounce back with much needed win

Four players reached double figures in scoring as the University of North Alabama women's basketball team picked up a key Gulf South Conference victory by topping Valdosta State 63-50 Saturday afternoon at The Complex on the VSU campus. The win completes the season sweep over the Blazers for the second straight year and gives UNA a 10-7 overall record and 7-6 mark in GSC play.

The UNA victory, along with Delta State's road win at West Georgia, puts the Lions in a tie with UWG for fourth place in the GSC standings. The Wolves own the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head win over UNA on Jan. 15. The two teams will meet again on Jan. 31 at Flowers Hall. The top eight teams advance to the upcoming GSC Tournament with the top four seeds hosting first-round games.

On Saturday, both teams struggled to score. The two teams combined for only 14 field goals in the second half. After opening the game on a 12-2 run, UNA led 32-25 at the break. In the second half, the Lions led by as many as 16 and held off a late VSU charge as the Blazers cut the lead to single digits.

Jennifer Towne scored eight of her team-high 15 points over the final 20 minutes of play. She knocked down four straight free throws after drawing a technical foul in the closing minutes to halt a VSU attempt at a rally. After trimming the lead to seven, the Blazers had possession with 2:19 remaining. A steal by Towne led to a fast break opportunity. A hard foul by VSU's Amy Duke, however, drew the technical. Towne connected at the free throw line four straight times to put UNA ahead 58-47 and the lead remained double digits the rest of the way.

Jessica Brown added 12 points for the Lions while Janae Lyde and Shay Trent tossed in 10 points each.

April Thomas led Valdosta State (9-10 overall, 5-8 GSC) with a game-high 21 points.

UNA will return home for its next four GSC games. The Lions will take on West Alabama on Jan. 29, with tip-off set for 6 p.m. at Flowers Hall.