Second Half Woes Cost UWF Win

Ben Johnson, Writer

No. 5 Valdosta St.’s (13-1, 13-1 GSC) second half run led to a 64-47 UWF (4-6, 4-6 GSC) loss on Tuesday at the UWF Field House. 

Never being down by more than six points in the first half, the UWF women’s basketball team could not overcome the Blaze’s powerful presence in the paint.

“Valdosta is a very talented team,” Coach Yelton said. “They have very good paint players.”

Valdosta St. were brutal in the key, scoring 44 of their 64 points there while the Argos only scored 20 points of their 47.

With bigger and stronger players, Valdosta St. kept the Argos out of the paint and as far away from the basket as possible, forcing West Florida to take long jump shots and three-pointers.

“It was challenging for us to execute offence,” Yelton said. “The option they left for us was the perimeter and we didn’t have a good shooting night.”

UWF began the night playing well defensively, keeping the game close and within six points the entire first half while tying the game twice in the second quarter.

However, during the second half, the Argos could not find the basket as well as in the first while Valdosta St. stepped up defensively.

Ultimately, West Florida could not get past VSU’s defense as the Blaze continued their relentless offensive paint play.

While the loss felt anything but good, Yelton believes that it is the perfect opportunity to learn during the beginning of the season rather than late in the season.

“There’s not a player on our roster wearing a uniform that remembers the Elite 8 experience that we had in 2017,” Yelton said. “It’s a great experience to play great teams this early in the season.” 

This is the first time the women’s basketball team played Valdosta St. and will be the last time they see each other until West Florida’s final two games of the season when they travel to Valdosta, Ga. for a two-game stand beginning Feb. 26.

West Florida begins a two-game homestand on Friday, Feb. 5 against West Georgia (5-7, 5-7 GSC) at the UWF Field House.