From Staff Reports
For 32 minutes on Saturday, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team could not seem to shake a determined Georgia College team. However, the final eight minutes proved to be the difference for the Lakers.
Finishing the game in a flourish, Clayton State recorded a hard-fought 53-42 victory over Georgia College in Peach Belt Conference action at the Centennial Center. Fifth-ranked Clayton State remains undefeated on the season at 14-0 overall and 3-0 in the Peach Belt, while Georgia College is now 8-2 overall and 0-2 in the Peach Belt.
"We will take it," said a relieved Clayton State head coach Dennis Cox. "We knew Georgia College would be motivated and they were. But we played real well defensively in the second half and pushed the ball hard offensively."
Clayton State trailed 40-35 at the 8:12 mark of the second half on a jumper by Georgia College's Chimere Jordan. That, however, was the last field goal that the Lady Bobcats would convert for the remainder of the game. The Lakers finished the contest on an 18-2 run, including a 16-0 run over seven minutes.
Tanisha Woodard drained a 3-point basket to tie the game 40-40 with 6:44 remaining. A turnaround jump shot to give Clayton State its first lead since the early part of the game. Woodard followed with a lay-up in transition, and a 3-point play by Shacamra Jackson gave the Lakers a 47-40 lead at the 3:43 mark.
Clayton State increased its lead to 11 points in the final minute on four free throws by Brittany Hall.
"In the second half, our goal was to attack and press and play at our pace," Cox said. "That's what we count on - getting them to play at our tempo."
Clayton State was able to rally after a horrendous offensive first half in which the Lakers shot only 27 percent from the field. But the Lakers limited Georgia College to only 25 percent and trailed 23-17 at halftime. Early in the second half, Georgia College twice stretched its lead to six points before the Lakers put on the defensive clamps.
Hall paced Clayton State with 15 points, followed by Woodard with 12 points and Teshymia Tillman scored 10 points. Jackson and Tillman each grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Clayton State limited Georgia College to only 26 percent shooting from the field.
Clayton State plays host to in-state Peach Belt rival Columbus State on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.