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CSU explodes in second half en route to win

From Staff Reports

The Clayton State Laker men's basketball team needed a little extra incentive to get it going on Saturday. But once the Lakers got it, there was no turning back.

Spearheaded by strong second-half onslaught, Clayton State rolled to an impressive 74-48 Peach Belt Conference victory over visiting UNC Pembroke at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The victory was the third in the last four games for Clayton State, now 12-6 overall and 5-6 in the Peach Belt Conference.

Clayton State had an 11-point lead, 32-21 late in the first half. But UNC Pembroke (5-13, 2-9 PBC) cut the lead to five with a 6-run to end the half, followed by a 6-0 run at the start of the second half to take a 33-32 lead with 18:44 remaining. That's when the Laker onslaught began.

Clayton State erupted for a 25-4 run over the next 10 minutes to take complete control. Thee lay-ups by Brian Kelly gave the Lakers a five-point lead, followed by a transition lay-up by Freddie Williams to make the Clayton State lead 44-35 with 14:18 left.

Tre Goss followed with a 3-point basket, and then the Lakers converted eight free throws. Two free throws by Eric Wilson at the 8:49 mark gave Clayton State a 57-37 lead.

UNC Pembroke would get no closer than 17 points after that. Clayton State stretched the lead back to 67-44 on a 3-point basket by Bernard Fields. Two free throws by Will Lewis then gave the Lakers a 69-46 lead with 2:33 remaining.

Fields paced Clayton State with 17 points, followed by Lewis with 10 points off the bench. Goss scored nine points and Kelly and Wilson each added eight points. The Lakers held UNC Pembroke to only 32 percent shooting from the field, including only 2-for-18 (11 percent) from 3-point range.

For UNC Pembroke, David Moore and Marcus Heath each scored eight points.

Clayton State travels to USC Aiken for a key Peach Belt showdown on Monday at 7:30 p.m.