From Staff Reports
Playing its second game in three days, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team remained undefeated on the 2010-11 season on Monday with an impressive 76-59 Peach Belt Conference victory over in-state rival Columbus State at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
With the victory, No. 3-ranked Clayton State is now 18-0 overall and 7-0 in the Peach Belt. With second-ranked Arkansas Tech falling on Saturday against No. 4 Delta State, Clayton State now has a strong chance to move up to No. 2 in the nation when the new USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll is released on Tuesday.
Columbus State falls to 10-6 overall and 3-4 in the Peach Belt.
Having to contend against the inside presence of Columbus State power forward Dominique Gilbert, the Lakers trailed 18-13 in the first eight minutes of the opening half. However, Clayton State countered with a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to take a seven-point lead.
Drameka Griggs' running jump shot in the lane gave the Lakers a 19-18 lead at the 9:55 mark. Center Shacamra Jackson scored in the paint, followed by a lay-up in transition by Teshymia Tillman to give Clayton State a five-point lead. Griggs' 3-point basket with 7:39 remaining gave the Lakers a 26-20 lead.
The Lady Cougars cut the Laker lead to one point on a Marah Wright lay-up, but Clayton State answered again with a 9-0 run. Brittany Hall sank a 3-point basket, and transition lay-ups by Griggs and Tanisha Woodard increased the Laker lead to 36-26 with 3:27 remaining.
Clayton State then led 40-31 at halftime.
Early 3-point baskets by Breanna Fort and Tanisha Woodard pushed the Laker lead to 54-35 in the first five minutes of the second half. Columbus State cut the deficit to 10 points as Wright and Marina DeFoor connected on back-to-back 3-point baskets. Asha Alexander's 3-point play at the 12:27 mark brought the Lady Cougars to within 56-46.
That, however, was as close as Columbus State would get.
Tillman and Latonda Bruce both scored in the lane to push the Clayton State lad back to 14 points. Mobley's 3-point basket at the 4:46 mark gave the Lakers a 70-53 lead. Another 3-point basket by Renee Jackson gave Clayton State its largest lead of the game, 75-55 with 3:24 remaining.
Mobley scored 13 points off the bench to pace Clayton State. Tillman scored 12 points and Griggs scored 11 points as the Lakers got 36 points off their bench.
Gilbert recorded her sixth straight double-double and her ninth on the season with 20 points and 17 rebounds for Columbus State. Center Lauren Matheney scored 13 points, followed by Marah Wright with 11 points.
Clayton State hits the road on Wednesday for a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt Conference encounter at Armstrong Atlantic.