Lions women’s basketball wins overtime thriller

Senior guard Jasmine Horne surveys the defense during Saturday’s Gulf South Conference game against Valdosta State.

UNA overcame 24 turnovers to win 76-69 in overtime against Gulf South Conference foe Valdosta State Saturday afternoon in Flowers Hall.

A two point basket by Nichelle Fillmore with 10 seconds to go in the second half tied the game up for the Lions to force overtime.

In overtime, the Lions (10-5, 2-2) relied on good defense and free throw shooting to spark a huge win against the Blazers (11-4, 2-2) and to find new life after gaining another win on Thursday night.

“This was desperation for us and we had to have this one,” said UNA Coach Terry Fowler. “This puts new life into us now going 2-2 and now we go on the road against Christian Brothers. We need to get a road conference win and that’s what you have to do in this league.”

The Lions came out with a lot of energy to start the game with good passes from Jasmine Horne and Jazmine Saxton with their penetration toward the basket, leading to points by Fillmore.

Valdosta State kept control for most of the first half by forcing the Lions into 14 turnovers.

The Lions remained close by continuing to attack the basket and getting to the free throw line.

UNA made 28 free throws for the game to Valdosta’s seven.

The turnovers plagued the Lions during the first half as Valdosta lead at the half 31-27.

The second half featured much of the same with aggressive basketball by both teams as Valdosta remained in control for the first 10 minutes again, scoring points off turnovers.

UNA tied the game 48-48 off a Cierra Anderson two point basket.

Valdosta responded with a run, firing two threes to go up by eight for the biggest lead of the game with 4:32 remaining.

UNA’s defense came alive with steals by Horne and Dana Jackson to get to 61-58 with a minute to go.

Valdosta State scored to go ahead five with 46 seconds, but Jackson answered with a huge three with 36 seconds to trim it to two.

Off the timeout, the Lions in bounded it to Fillmore for the tying bucket to force overtime.

In overtime, it was all UNA with good defense and the ability to make free throws to separate from Valdosta State to get the win 76-69.

“It felt really good to do it for my team,” said Fillmore about the tying bucket. “Coach told us the play in the timeout and we actually didn’t run the exact play and I was able to slip to get the layup. We were confident when we got into overtime, because we felt like through the whole game we had a chance to win.”

With the win, the Lions overcame the 0-2 start in conference to finish the week with two conference wins as they travel to Christian Brothers Thursday night.