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Clayton State teams get ready for Peach Belt tournament

By Doug Gorman

The Georgia Tech men's basketball team isn't the only college squad in the state hoping to make it to an NCAA tournament.

At Clayton College and State University and outbreak of March Madness is also spreading through the Morrow campus as both the men and women's team's gear up for this week's Peach Belt Conference Tournament in Augusta.

At stake is conference tournament title, and a shot at moving on to the NCAA Division II national tournament. That would be a first for either program.

Both teams earned first-round byes and won't play until the second round of the PBC tournament.

The Lady Lakers enter the postseason after a record setting year which saw the team win the school's first ever regular-season Peach Belt Conference title.

With its victory against Georgia College and State University Saturday afternoon, the Lady Lakers earned the No.-1 seed in the tournament for the first time in school history.

The win also gave first-year head coach Dennis Cox's team a school record 21 victories.

Clayton State plays its first ever conference title game Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday's USC-Upstate and North Flordia contest.

The Lady Lakers secured their regular-season conference title with a 74-63 victory against GC&SU.

Clayton State spread the wealth in the season-ending game with Jasmine Patterson and junior Shelcey Harp scoring 13 points each. Shannnakie Ward scored 10 points.

The Lady Lakers closed out the regular season with seven straight wins.

Jamika Hindsman averaged 13.5 points during the regular season to lead the Lady Lakers in scoring.

CCSU men: After closing out the regular season with a game against each other, CCSU and GC&SU could meet again in the first round of the Peach Belt Conferece Tournament.

The rematch will take place only if GC&SU beats tournament host Augusta State in the first round of the event.

With its second place finish in the regular-season Peach Belt Conference standings, the Lakers earned a bye in the first round of the tournament.

In Saturday's season-finale, CCSU improved to 18-12 overall and 11-5 in league action .

Craig Butts closed out the season with a 17-point performance. B .J. Pucket added 12.

Butts and Puckett have been Clayton State's leading scorers all season.

Butts averaged 16.8 points per game and Puckett 11.8.

The Lakers are on a two-game winning streak heading into the postseason.

In addition to beating GC&SU Saturday, Clayton State also knocked off defending NCAA Division II national champions, Kennesaw State 75-70 last week in double overtime.