Clayton State men rebound with 66-47 defensive gem over rival Columbus State

From Staff Reports

The Clayton State Laker men's basketball team recovered successfully from Saturday's heartbreaking overtime defeat against North Georgia on Saturday with an impressive 66-47 Peach Belt Conference triumph over visiting in-state rival Columbus State on Monday at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

The Lakers, who snapped a brief two-game losing skid, improve to 13-5 overall and 4-3 in the Peach Belt with the victory. Columbus State is now 7-9 overall and 3-4 in the Peach Belt.

Clayton State put the defensive clamps on Columbus State, limiting the Cougars to only 29 percent shooting from the field and only 22 percent from 3-point range.

The Lakers trailed early by one point before Clayton State went on an 18-2 run to lead by 15 points late in the first half. Brandon Robinson put the Lakers ahead for good with a driving lay-up in the lane at the 13-minute mark. Juron Dobbs then scored six points on inside lay-ups during the rally to increase the Clayton State lead to 23-10 with 6:30 remaining.

Robinson's dunk on a fast-break at the 4:03 mark gave the Lakers a 27-12 lead. Columbus State, however, cut the Clayton State lead to 29-17 at halftime on a Steve Peterson 3-point basket and two free throws by Lamar Williams with 51 seconds remaining.

Clayton State kept the double-digit lead throughout the second half. Twice, Columbus State cut the Laker lead to 10 points, including a free throw by Peterson with 14:44 remaining to make the Clayton State lead 35-25. But Timmy Downs responded for the Lakers with a 3-point basket on the ensuing possession.

Downs' breakaway lay-up gave Clayton State a 44-25 lead at the 12:15 mark. After the Cougars twice trimmed the Laker lead to 14 points, forward Torrin Greene responded for the Lakers with 3-point baskets to increase the Clayton State lead to 17 points.

The Lakers' largest lead of the game was 23 points, 56-33 at the 6:16 mark on a driving lay-up by Downs.

Downs paced Clayton State with 21 points and five assists, followed by Robinson with 19 points. Dobbs and Greene each added nine points, while center Mike Thorogood grabbed eight rebounds.

Peterson scored 20 points for Columbus State.

Clayton State travels to Savannah on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference showdown at Armstrong Atlantic.