By Doug Gorman
The start of the college basketball season is still a couple of weeks away, but the Clayton State Lady Lakers tuned up for the 2010-11season with an exhibition game Wednesday night.
In the process, the Lady Lakers turned back the clock, hosting the annual alumni game against former players.
Clayton State beat the alumni 111-65.
Head coach Dennis Cox is pleased with the way workouts have gone so far this season for his team.
"We have a really good core of returning players this year," Cox said. "Last year we had so many new players. I just have a better feel for where we are. I am encouraged, the chemistry feels good. We have a lot more depth, and I think that showed tonight."
The game did mark the Clayton State debut of former Jonesboro High School standout Drameka Griggs, who has stepped right in as the team's starting point guard.
Griggs was recruited by Cox out of high school, but the point guard signed with Jacksonville State last year before electing to come home.
She still has three years of eligibility remaining with the Lady Lakers.
In Wednesday's exhibition, Griggs had four points, four assists and five steals in 19 minutes of action.
"I have a lot of support here at home," Griggs said, "and I am glad I made the decision to come back and play here at Clayton State."
Eleven different players scored in the exhibition game for Clayton State, with Teshymia Tillman leading the way with 23 points. Tanisha Woodard and Kayla Mobley each scored 15. Latonda Bruce added 13 and Breanna Fort tossed in 12.
Clayton State built a 54-37 lead at the break and outscored the alumni 57-28 in the final 20 minutes.
Several of the former Lady Lakers showed they could still play. Dominique Jennings (2007-09) led the alumni with 16, LaDe'sha Stoudamire (2010) scored 12 and Shantel Ragin (2005-08) added 10.
The alumni also hit on 5 of 18 3-point shots. Clayton State was 7 of 18 from 3-point territory.
Earlier this summer, this same alumni team beat the current Clayton State team twice in a summer camp setting.
"I think losing to them twice in the summer gave us a lot of motivation tonight," Cox said.
Clayton State plays another exhibition game Saturday at home against Piedmont College. Tip off is set for 5:30 p.m.