Wednesday, January 26, 2011
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Clayton News Daily
Photo by Heather Middleton
From Staff Reports
The Clayton State Laker women's basketball team have reached a new high in its storied history - No. 2 in the nation.
The new USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll was released on Tuesday, and the Lakers (18-0, 7-0 Peach Belt Conference) advanced one spot from third to second in the new Top 25 ranking. This marks the first time ever that Clayton State has been ranked No. 2 in the nation in women's basketball, and the second Laker athletic team to achieve such a milestone.
Head coach Gordon Gibbons' Clayton State men's basketball program was ranked No. 2 in the nation in Division II for a six-week stretch during the 2006-07 season.
"It's so flattering to be one of the top two teams in the nation - it's an honor because there are so many great teams at this level in the nation," said Clayton State head coach Dennis Cox. "But what gives us such good motivation is the fact that we haven't even secured being the best team in our league."
Clayton State received 682 points in the new Top 25 poll, putting the Lakers 40 ponts behind Peach Belt Conference rival and top-ranked Lander. The Lady Bearcats retained the top spot for a second straight week, and this marks the first time in the history of the Peach Belt Conference that the conference has had two women's basketball programs ranked 1-2 in the nation at one point during the season.
The two teams are set to square off at Clayton State's Athletics and Fitness Center on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to Clayton State and Lander, USC Aiken is ranked 18th in the nation, while Francis Marion and Georgia College each received votes this week.
The 18-0 start to the season is the best start to a season ever by a Clayton State women's basketball team. The Lakers are currently 7-0 in the Peach Belt, and travel to Armstrong Atlantic on Wednesday for a key Peach Belt showdown at 5:30 p.m.