Photo by Derrick Mahone Clayton State forwards Kayla Mobley (left) and Jessica Covington (middle) have been a part of a Lakers defense that is allowing opponents only 49 points per game through its first 13 games this season.
As the Clayton State womens team prepares to dive back into its Peach Belt Conference schedule today, the Lakers have put last seasons championship run into the distant past.
The Lakers, who take on North Georgia today at 5:30 p.m. in the Athletics and Fitness Center, says this seasons team is ready to find its own idenity.
We feel good about this team going into our conference games, Clayton State senior Tanisha Woodard said. We have been creating this team. We are not focused on last year. We want to make this year every bit as good as last year. We are ready for it.
So far, this seasons team has been on a similar pace as last years group, which won the Division II national championship. The Lakers enter todays game 2-0 in the conference after a win over Georgia Southwestern and Columbus State just before the Christmas break.
North Georgia is 1-0 in the conference with a win over Georgia College.
Lakers coach Dennis Cox said he feels better about this group now than at the beginning of the season. Although the team still has some improvements to make, Cox said the team seems ready to handle the conference schedule.
I definitely feel better about this team, Cox said. I feel we are coming together. We are executing a lot better on offense. We are a lot better shooting team than we have shown. I really think we are getting there.
North Georgia comes into the game having won its last two non-conference games by scoring 73 points in each of the wins. It was the fifth time this season that North Georgia had scored at least 70 points in a game.
The most points that the Lakers have given up in a game has been 63, which came in a 63-51 loss to Tusculum.
Woodard said the teams success will depend largely on the leadership they provide.
It starts with the players that are back from last season, Woodard said. We know if we dont come into the game focused that we can easily lose. We want what we had last year for this team. All the seniors want to go out on top.