UWA women win fourth straight
LIVINGSTON – Nikkia Jordan scored a career-high 37 points to lead the University of West Alabama to a 58-46 women’s Gulf South Conference victory over Valdosta State Saturday at Pruitt Hall.
The win was UWA’s fourth consecutive and improved the Tigers to 8-5 overall and 3-2 in the GSC. The Lady Blazers dropped to 9-5 and 2-4.
With UWA’s leading scorer Brittany Weathers in street clothes recovering from a foot injury, Jordan put together the GSC’s top scoring performance of the season, surpassing Weathers 36 points against Lincoln Memorial on Nov. 24.
“I realized the responsibility that I had with Brittany being out,” Jordan said. “I usually l get my points silently, not worrying about how many I score, but my teammates were pushing me today, feeling it with me.”
Valdosta State led 24-23 at the half, shooting just 29-percent before the break. UWA continued to shut down the Valdosta State attack throughout the game, limiting the Lady Blazers to just 15-of-53 from the field (28 percent).
UWA took the lead for good at 30-29 with 11:57 to play on a pair of free throws from Tamya Thompson. Jordan then scored the next eight UWA points to stretch the lead to 10. VSU got back within four points at 46-42 with 4:24 left on a three-pointer by Kourtnee Williams. West Alabama outscored VSU 12-4 the rest of the way.
“This was a good, tough win where we had to grind it out on both ends, just like you always have to do against Valdosta,” UWA head coach Craig Roden said. “That was our first game this season where every possession counted, where every rebound and finding your scorer on every trip was crucial.
“We guarded them well in the first half and that kept us in the game,” Roden said. “We’re down one at the half and didn’t score the first five or six trips down the floor, but neither did they, so our defense kept us alive.”
Jordan was the only UWA player to score in double figures. Synthea Reed had six points to go with 13 rebounds.
Brittney Nelson scored 13 points and collected eight rebounds to lead the Lady Blazers. Williams chipped in 10 points.
West Alabama plays its first road game in 31 days when the Tigers travel to Delta State Thursday for a GSC matchup. Valdosta remains on the road for a Saturday game at West Florida.