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Lady Lakers stay perfect in PBC

From staff reports

The Clayton College & State University women's basketball team defeated the defending Peach Belt Conference South Division champions on Wednesday and followed that up on Saturday with another impressive victory, beating the defending PBC overall champions Lander University 74-67 at the Athletics & Fitness Center.

Junior Jasmine Patterson was the hero, finishing with 25 points, coming one three-pointer shy of tying a school record with seven three-pointers in the game. Patterson hit 7-of-8 from three-point land and 9-of-14 from the floor. Clayton State hit 12 three-pointers for the game, the second best single-game performance in school history. The Lakers set a school record earlier this month against Francis Marion University with 15 three-pointers in a game.

Clayton State led almost the entire second half, taking the lead at the 19:32 mark on Patterson's sixth three-pointer of the game. The Lakers pushed their lead to seven points, 49-42, on a three-pointer by senior Shanakie Ward. Lander answered and cut the lead to four points with four straight free throws by Keunna Thomas.

The Lakers came right back, however, as junior Shelcey Harp scored five straight points to give Clayton State a nine-point lead, 54-45, with 13:45 remaining. Lander cut the deficit to five points, 56-51, on a basket by Tracy Jacobs but would come no closer in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

Senior Jamika Hindsman gave the Lakers an 11-point lead, 66-55, with a three- point play. Lander cut the lead to six points, 71-65, with 48 seconds remaining but Clayton State drained a trio of free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the victory.

With the win, the Lakers improve to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in the Peach Belt, while Lander drops to 7-7 overall and 2-2 in the league. Clayton State will try to extend a six-game winning on Wednesday in PBC action, traveling to face Columbus State University. Lander will play Wednesday at the University of North Carolina Pembroke.

Clayton State raced out to a nine-point advantage, 17-8, on a free throw by senior April Taylor. Lander answered with a 9-0 run and tied the score at 17 with 13:40 remaining on a three-pointer by Natasha Hemphill. Clayton State came back to take an eight-point lead on a basket by Taylor with 6:43 remaining only to have the Bearcats close the half strong. Thomas tied the score at 35 with two free throws in the final minute to tie the score at intermission. Behind Patterson's 25 points and six rebounds, Harp finished with 17 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Senior Brandi Catia had eight rebounds and five assists, while senior April Taylor also had eight rebounds. For Lander, Hemphill finished with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jacquay White and Thomas each chipped in 12 points, while Jacobs added 10 points. White also had a team high seven rebounds, while Lashaundra Dubose finished six rebounds to go along with nine points.

The Lakers shot only 35 percent (26-of-74) from the floor, compared to 48 percent (25-of-52) for the Bearcats. Clayton State overcame the its shooting difficulties thanks to 24 offensive rebounds. Lander also committed 22 turnovers to only 16 for Clayton State.

Clayton State 71, Lander 49 (men): The Clayton College & State University men's basketball closed the first half with a 20-6 run Saturday and never looked back, cruising to a 71-49 victory over Lander University at the Athletics & Fitness Center.

Leading 25-20 with 8:35 remaining in the first period, the Lakers went on the game-deciding run with four quick baskets in a two-minute stretch. Two inside baskets by senior B.J. Puckett and one by junior T.J. Waldon gave the Lakers an 11-point lead, 31-20, with 7:23 remaining. Junior guard Donte Dawson capped the mini-run with a basket, giving the Lakers a 13-point lead.

Clayton State pushed its lead 19 points, 39-20, on a three-point play by junior Maxi Rios with 3:08 remaining. The Bearcats answered with a two straight baskets the second by Jarred Jackson, cutting the deficit to 15 points, 39-24, at the 1:59 mark. Clayton State came back though and a three-pointer by Puckett in the closing seconds of the half gave the Lakers a 19-point lead, 45-26, at intermission. In the second half, the Lakers kept a double-digit lead for the entire period. Lander made one run and cut the deficit to 12 points, 53-41, with 11:22 remaining on a three-point play by Derek Brooks but would come no closer. Clayton State answered and held the Bearcats scoreless for the next four minutes, re-extending its lead.

Puckett gave the squad an 18-point lead with a basket at the 7:22 mark. The Lakers led by a game high 24 points, 71-47, in the final minutes on a three-pointer by Darien Chavis.

With the win, Clayton State improves to 10-8 overall and 2-1 in the Peach Belt. Lander drops to 9-6 overall and 2-2 in the league. The Lakers will return to PBC action on Wednesday at Columbus State University and Lander will travel to the University of North Carolina Pembroke on Wednesday.

Butts led the Laker attack with 19 points and seven rebounds, followed by Puckett with 16 points. Chavis chipped in 14 points.

For Lander, Brooks had 17 points, followed by Emanuel Hodrea with 11 points.