Lady Blazers head coach Deandra Schirmer is smiling somewhere. Maybe the starting five, as well, for much of the day off.
The bench unit had quite the Saturday afternoon, crushing winless Albany State (0-2) 87-56 at the VSU Complex. The VSU second unit registered 54 points, nearly tying the Lady Rams game total.
With this, Schirmer can look down on the bench and know someone can create offense, a luxury for any coaching staff.
“I feel like for us it’s everyone accepting their role,” Schirmer said. “When we come in, we talk about being ‘unselfish players.’”
One of those unselfish players happened to be junior transfer-guard Delaney Bernard, who shined in the matchup for a game-high 17 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
“The game plan, in general, was to hit the boards and take care of the ball,” Bernard said. “We score off of our defense, so when [the bench] comes in we have enough energy to get tips, steals and deflect easy passes.”
The Lady Blazers had three other double-digit scorers including: Germani Abram (13), Abby Rouse (12) and Frey (16). Frey grabbed ten rebounds en route to the game’s only double-double.
Schirmer was impressed with Frey’s production.
”Kayla Frey can start for any team in our conference,” she said. “We needed her playmaking coming off the bench.”
Both squads entertained the crowd with a tit-for-tat show early in the first quarter, constantly trading scores. Bernard ignited an 11-2 run with a three-point basket to end the first quarter.
The Lady Blazers embarked on a 19-11 lead into the second quarter.
The second quarter was all VSU’s, outscoring Albany State 20-12. VSU took a 39-23 lead into the half, courtesy of Bernard’s 11 first-half points.
Out of the half, the Lady Blazers didn’t hesitate to finish what had been started. VSU stretched its lead to 20 points thanks to a key layup from freshman guard Jillian King.
VSU held Albany State to an abysmal 20 percent from the floor.
Behind an easy layup from Germani Abram, the Lady Blazers extended their lead to 30 points early in the fourth quarter.
Schirmer said the bench unit followed the simple task she expects from them.
“Coming in and doing your role and playing hard when you do come in with the minutes you get.” she said. “Making sure you’re being dynamic and making an impact on the game. I feel like they did that.”
The Lady Blazers go on the road next Friday to take on Lynn University on Nov. 15. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.