From Staff Reports
Getting off on the winning note in conference play is always important, and it was to the Clayton State Laker men's basketball team on Saturday.
With four players scoring in double-figures, the Lakers continued their newfound offensive onslaught with an 89-67 rout over visiting UNC Pembroke at the Athletics and Fitness Center. It was the Peach Belt Conference opener for both teams, as Clayton State is now 4-1 overall and UNC Pembroke slips to 3-4.
It's the fifth straight game that Clayton State has scored at least 85 points, the first time that has happened for the Lakers since the 1993-94 season.
The Lakers left nothing to chance from the beginning, jumping out to an early 10-0 lead. Clayton State extended the lead to 19 points with 13-2 run as Germeil Daniels and Eric Wilson both scored inside lay-ups. 3-point baskets by Jaquas Dobbs and Torrin Greene gave the Lakers a 26-7 lead with 12:04 remaining.
UNC Pembroke twice trimmed the first-half deficit to 11 points, including 28-17 on a turnaround jumper in the lane by George Blakeney. However, Clayton State answered with a 15-2 run as Robert Murry converted a 3-point play and Timmy Downs scored on a lay-up and knocked down a 3-point basket.
A 16-foot jump shot by Dobbs at the 3:26 mark gave the Lakers a commanding 43-19 lead.
Ahead by 21 points at halftime, Clayton State stretched the lead twice to 30 points in the second half. Wilson scored on a lay-up to give the Lakers a 61-31 lead at the 16:38 mark, and two free throws by Dobbs made the Laker lead 67-37 at the 12:42 mark.
The Braves never got closer than 19 points down the stretch.
Murry paced Clayton State with 20 points, followed closely by Dobbs matching his career-high of 19 points. Downs and Brandon Robinson each scored 15 points for the Lakers, who limited UNC Pembroke to only 39 percent shooting from the field and only 12 percent (2-for-17) from 3-point range.
For UNC Pembroke, senior forward Brandon Thomas scored 14 points on 10-for-10 shooting from the free throw line, while freshman guard Shahmel Brackett scored 10 points.
Clayton State is off this week and then will play its first "road" game of the season next Saturday (Dec. 12), making the short trek up I-75 and a 7:30 p.m. encounter at Clark Atlanta.