From Staff Reports

In a much-anticipated Division II Top 25 showdown, the 25th-ranked Clayton State Laker men's basketball team put on a defensive clinic on Saturday night as it downed seventh-ranked Augusta State 65-55 in an early Peach Belt Conference showdown at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

The victory keeps Clayton State undefeated on the season at 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the Peach Belt.

Augusta State came into the game averaging 81 points a game and was shooting 50 percent from the field. However, the stingy Clayton State defense held Augusta State to its season-low in point total yet this season, and held the Jaguars to only 32 percent shooting from the field.

In fact, the Lakers held Augusta State to only five fields in the final 27 minutes, including no field goals in the final 11:09.

Augusta State, behind the hot hand of reserve guard Daniel Dixon, jumped out to a 27-18 lead with 7:28 remaining, and held a 30-25 lead at halftime. The Jaguars extended the lead to 35-29 on a baseline jumper by Steve Smith with 17:37 remaining.

The lead changed hands four times before Clayton State went on a 13-1 run. Will Lewis gave the Lakers the lead for good with a 3-point basket at the 9:07 remaining. Freddie Williams and Bernard Fields followed with 3-point baskets to give the Lakers a 57-46 lead with 5:01 remaining.

Augusta State never got closer than seven points. The Lakers put the exclamation point on it with a breakaway dunk by Fields to give Clayton State a 61-50 lead with 1:30 remaining.

Fields paced Clayton State with 19 points, while Lewis scored 14 points as the Lakers shot 61 percent from the field in the second half. Brian Kelly grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

For Augusta State (7-2, 1-1 PBC), Ben Madgen scored 14 points and Dixon scored 11 points.

Clayton State plays host to Peach Belt Conference rival Georgia College on Monday at 7:30 p.m.