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Clayton State teams return to hardcourts this weekend

By Doug Gorman

dgorman@news-daily.com

Fall semester exams are finished.

Now there's only one thing for the Clayton State basketball teams to do-return to the gym.

It all starts tonight when the men's team takes the floor for a showdown with North Alabama at 7:30 on Morrow campus.

Clayton State plays for the first time since last Saturday when it went on the road to Carrollton and beat West Georgia University in a rematch of a game the Lakers lost at home earlier this year at home.

After starting the season with a 1-3 record, the Lakers have been on a roll lately, winning three-straight games.

The winning streak includes games against UNC-Pembroke, Carver and West Georgia.

Clayton State has picked up plenty of offensive support from a trio of players.

Former Lovejoy standout Michael Sloan leads the team with a 14.4 points per game average. B.J. Fields is averaging 10.6 points per game and Will Lewis is averaging 10.3 points per game.

Sloan has had the hot hand from behind the 3-point circle and leads the team with 15 treys.

Clayton State faces its second-straight game against a Gulf South Conference foe when it takes on North Alabama.

The Lions comes into the non-conference game with a 7-4 record.

North Alabama will try and break its two-game losing streak.

Quinn Beckwith leads the Lions' offense with a 20 points per game average.

The Clayton State women's basketball team hops on an airplane today and heads to Southern Connecticut State University for the Lady Lakers' second straight Sunday contest.

It's also the second game in a row against a top-10 team.

Last week, Clayton State lost to No.-2 ranked Delta State in Mississippi.

Southern Connecticut comes into the game ranked 10th in the country.

Clayton State has caught the attention of the pollsters too and is ranked 11th in the latest NCAA Division II poll.

The Lady Lakers helped put Clayton State on the map a year ago when they advanced all the way to the NCAA Division II Final Four.

This year the squad is off to another fast start, and comes into Sunday's contest with a 5-2 overall record.

Although Clayton State was hit hard by graduation, the Lady Lakers have reloaded for the 2007-08 season. Four players are averaging in double figures through the first seven games.

Dominique Jennings leads the way with 13.6 points. Roberta Phillips and Marie St. Fort are both averaging 10.9 points per game and Shanrika Hardeman 10.1 points per game.