This story was written by Austin Wells.
The Lady Blazers fell on their home court Friday night to the Eckerd Tritons 76-59.
Despite only being down by four at halftime, the team was outscored by 13 in the second half and began its season with a loss.
The first half was competitive, with the largest lead only being six points. With a halftime score of 38-34 the game was still very much within grasp for the Lady Blazers.
Despite VSU only shooting 43.3 percent compared to EC shooting 55 percent, the Lady Blazers were able to stay close by outrebounding the Tritons 21-9 in the half.
The second half would be the deciding half, however.
EC went on a 21-10 run within the first eight minutes of the second half and never looked back as the team shot 60.9 percent and 58.1 percent in the game overall.
The Tritons were led offensively by Victoria Vine, who led all players with 18 points.
“They did a great job of stretching the floor,” VSU head coach Kiley Hill said. “With their Princeton style offense, they kept us constantly in scramble mode the entire night.”
Second half defensive struggles from VSU were coupled with offensive struggles as the Lady Blazers shot 40.9 percent in the second half and 42.3 percent overall. EC also outrebounded VSU 17-8 in the final half.
“We didn’t play defense consistently,” Hill said. “[EC] got many easy buckets to the rim all night long. On the offensive end we tried to play too much one on one. We did not utilize a lot of the things we’ve been working on. It was a very difficult night on both ends of the floor.”
Imari Simpson led the Lady Blazers with 14 points, followed by April Thomas and Amy Duke with 13 points.
VSU now has to prepare to face Fort Valley State tomorrow, and Hill is looking for more consistent play against FVSU and for the rest of the season.
“It’s still a long year and we’ve got to be able to play consistently,” Hill said. “We’ve got to be able to get our younger kids and older kids on the same page and get our new kids to come along a little faster, and we’ve got to do that in less than 24 hours.”