From Staff Reports
With first place on the line in the Peach Belt Conference's West Division, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team left nothing to chance on Saturday at in-state rival Georgia College.
Spearheaded by a stellar defensive performance, Clayton State took over the lead in the West with a convincing 70-35 rout over Georgia College at the Centennial Center. The victory was the sixth straight for 15th-ranked Clayton State, now 18-3 overall and 9-2 in the Peach Belt Conference. It also avenged a 73-60 Georgia College victory at the Athletics and Fitness Center last month.
"It was a great defensive effort," said Clayton State head coach Dennis Cox. "We watched the film of that last game against them, and it was a poor defensive performance. This time we played extremely hard for the entire 40 minutes against a very talented team."
The Lakers limited Georgia College to only 10 field goals for the entire game. The Bobcats shot only 17 percent from the field and only 18 percent from 3-point range.
In addition, Clayton State held Georgia College's top two players - Chimere Jordan and Shandrea Moore - scoreless.
Clayton State, meanwhile, recorded 50 points in the paint; 23 points off Bobcat turnovers and the Laker bench contributed 30 points.
Jumping out to an early 10-2 lead, Clayton State was never really threatened. Back-to-back lay-ups by LaDe'sha Stoudemire and Teshymia Tillman gave the Lakers their first double-digit lead 23-11 with 7:33 remaining. Latonda Bruce's lay-up as time expired extended the Clayton State lead to 33-18 at halftime.
The Lakers opened the second half on a 14-3 run and never looked back. Clayton State limited Georgia College to 13 percent shooting in the second half and forced 15 Bobcat turnovers.
The Lakers took their first 30-point lead of the game 61-30 on a Jene'e Jemison lay-up with 3:21 remaining.
"The first five minutes of the second half was the difference," Cox said.
"That early run really broke their spirit because it could've gone either way. The kids did a great job of executing on both ends."
Bruce paced all scorers with 19 points off the bench with seven rebounds and five assists.
Tillman scored 17 points with eight rebounds and four assists, while Brittany Hall added nine points. Clayton State shot 46 percent from the field for the game, including 57 percent in the second half. The Lakers also out-rebounded Georgia College 50-44.
For Georgia College (15-6, 8-3 PBC), Dominique Huffin scored 11 points.
Clayton State travels to Greenwood, S.C. on Thursday for a much-anticipated Peach Belt Conference showdown at 10th-ranked Lander at 5:30 p.m.