Lee Lady Flames Hand Valdosta State Their First Loss of the Year

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(leeuflames.com) Playing what Coach Marty Rowe described as a great team effort by his club, the 16th-ranked Lee women’s basketball team built up a 13-point lead in the third period and then turned back a charge by the previously undefeated and 8th-ranked Valdosta State in posting a hard-fought 63-54 win over the Lady Blazers inside Walker Arena on Friday evening.

The Lady Flames led 27-24 at halftime after only scoring eight points in the 10 minutes of the second period. Led by junior Haley Schubert, the Lady Flames came out firing on all cylinders in the third frame and quickly went on top by 13 only to see Valdosta fight back and cut the lead to 48-42 at the end of the third break.

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Lee sewed up the victory over the Lady Blazers by outscoring the visitors 15-12 in the fourth period. Valdosta’s chance of a comeback was hurt somewhat when Kayla Bonilla fouled out with less than two minutes remaining in the battle.

Schubert finished with 20 points and tied as Lee’s leading rebounder with seven. Hannah Garrett followed with 13 points. Freshman Julia Duncan, who played almost the entire game, had 12 points, seven boards and knocked down three key 3-pointers.

After leaving the game with a blow to the mouth area, Halle Hughes returned and finished with seven points and six rebounds. Camryn Grant played a key role with five points and fought for seven rebounds. Maddie Long had an off-shooting night (four points) but led her team with five assists.

The Lady Flames outrebounded the taller Lady Blazers 44-34. Lee held the visitors to 29% shooting from the field and just 25% from beyond the arc. Valdosta fought back by making 14-of-16 free throws while the Lady Flames converted only 10-of-16. Lee shot 39% from the field (22-of-57) and made 9-of-26 triples (35%).
However, the Lady Flames turned the basketball over 19 times to 16 for the Lady Blazers.

Lee held Valdosta’s high-scoring Bonilla to 12 points, but she had five rebounds. Alexandria Smith nailed three attempts from 3-point range and was the only other Lady Blazer in double figures with 11 points. The Lady Flames also held Kwajelin Farrar to seven points, but she led her team in rebounding with eight.

Lee won the physical play in points in the paint 20-18 and had 12 fast-break points to five for the losers.

“Valdosta is a really good team, and we know they will be ready to play tomorrow,” said Coach Rowe. “We have to continue to grow as a team and carve improvements, so tomorrow’s game is an incredible opportunity to do just that.”

Two of the best D2 teams in the nation will be on display again inside Walker Arena on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.