By Doug Gorman
Sometimes all it takes easy a stern message from the coach to ignite a spark in a basketball team.
Just ask the Clayton State women.
Trailing 16-8 midway through the first quarter, head coach Dennis Cox pulled the five players on the floor at the time for a fresh set of players things began to turn in the Lakers way.
Clayton State closed out the first half on a 33-6 run to lead 41-22 at the break and it translated into a 72-56 Peach Belt Conference victory against Montevallo.
The Lakers improved to 13-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play. Montevallo dropped to 10-6 overall and 3-3 in the league.
The victory was much needed for the No. 19 Lakers, who suffered a conference loss to USC-Aiken Saturday afternoon.
"It was good to see us get back to playing Clayton State basketball," head coach Dennis Cox said.
Cox was referring to the way his team pressed on defense and controlled tempo of the game.
Clayton State's defense held their guest from Alabama to 27.4 percent shooting from the field.
The Lakers shot 40.9 percent from the field. Clayton State dominated play off the bench, as the Lakers outscored the Montevallo reserves, 27-3.
Ten different players scored for Clayton State with LaDe'Sha Stoudamire leading the Lakers with 15 points.
Teshymia Tillman added 13.
Shan Jones and Aex Sanabria each scored 15 for Montevallo.
Clayton State plays at home Saturday against North Georgia in another Peach Belt Conference game.
Clayton State men: Basketball is a game of spurts.
At least it was last night, as No. 18 Montevallo came to Morrow and defeated Clayton State 74-60 thanks to scoring run to open the second half.
After only leading 31-28 at the break, Montavello opened the second half by scoring 12 straight points.
Clayton State spent the rest of the game trying to catch up and cool down Division II All-American Feddy Little.
Little's 3-point shot during opening minutes of the second half gave the Falcons a 43-28 lead.
Little had been batting an injury coming into the contest, and his status was doubtful, but he showed he was ready to play, hitting 7-of-15 shots from 3-point range.
Clayton State made one last effort to get back in the game, cutting the lead to 53-50 when Robert Murry converted three straight baskets for the Lakers midway through the game.
Murry led all scored with 24 points, hitting 9-of-17 shots from the field.
Clayton State's Timothy Downs added 13 for the Lakers.
Still, the team's downfall was its shooting as it only converted 31.9 percent from the field.
In addition to Little's 21 points, Tauras Dortch added 17, Mark Plaza added 15 and Gerald January finished with 11.
Clayton State dropped to 9-7 overall and 2-4 in the Peach Belt. Montevallo improved to 15-1 overall and 5-1 in conference action.