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No. 1-ranked Clayton State women play host to Montevallo in Peach Belt quarterfinals

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

From Staff Reports

The No. 1-ranked and undefeated Clayton State Laker women's basketball will take aim at defending its Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship on Wednesday when the Lakers play host to Montevallo in the 2011 Peach Belt Conference Tournament quarterfinals.

Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

Head coach Dennis Cox's Clayton State squad enters the postseason 28-0 overall and 17-0 in the Peach Belt, clinching its fourth PBC regular season title in the last seven seasons. The Lakers became only the second team in the history of Peach Belt women's basketball to go undefeated during a regular season, and are ranked No. 1 in the nation for a third straight week in the USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches' Poll.

A victory on Wednesday for Clayton State would also tie the single-season record for victories, currently held by the 2006-07 Laker team that advanced to the NCAA Division II "Final Four."

Cox's Lakers come into the contest leading the Peach Belt Conference in six categories - scoring offense (80.1 ppg), scoring margin (+22.8), field goal percentage (.460), blocked shots (4.8 bpg), steals (18.2 spg), turnover margin (+10.4) and offensive rebounding (16.0 rpg). In addition, Clayton State also leads the nation in steals, ranked second turnover margin, third in scoring margin and seventh in scoring offense.

Senior forward Teshymia Tillman leads the Lakers in scoring, averaging 14 points a game, followed closely by junior guard Tanisha Woodard at 13 points a game. In addition, sophomore point guard Drameka Griggs averages 10 points, while junior point guard Brittany Hall averages nine points and shoots 41 percent from 3-point range.

What could have been a recipe for disaster has turned into a "weathering of the storm" season for Montevallo (10-16, 6-11 PBC).

After Brittney Ezell left for the head coaching position at Division I Belmont, Delta State assistant Mechan Vanderpool was hired as the new Falcon head coach. But she resigned six games into this season. Since then, interim head coach Brittany Godsey has kept Montevallo at a competitive pace, going 8-12 in the interim basis.

The Falcons are paced by junior guard Tiffany McClure and senior forward Carrie Parrott, both of whom average nine points a game. In addition, junior center Shavonne Seymore averages seven points and five rebounds a game, while junior guard Taylor Welch is Montevallo's primary 3-point threat at 37 percent.