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Clayton State puts winning streak on the line

Special Photo
Clayton State coach Dennis Cox will lead his fourth-ranked women’s basketball team into their annual holiday tournament this weekend. The Lakers have won 16 straight games in the tournament.

Special Photo Clayton State coach Dennis Cox will lead his fourth-ranked women’s basketball team into their annual holiday tournament this weekend. The Lakers have won 16 straight games in the tournament.

MORROW — The Clayton State women’s basketball team will put its undefeated record on the line this weekend as it hosts the annual Heritage Bank Holiday Classic at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

Classic Domination

The Record: The Lakers are 19-4 all time in the annual event since it began in 2001.

The Streak: Sixteen straight victories in the Classic. The last loss was a 66-64 defeat to Carson-Newman in 2003.

The Success: Clayton State is 73-5 in its last three seasons. No Division II program has been better.

The Lakers, who boast a 7-0 record, have been idle since a Dec. 17 road win at Columbus State (66-47).

Clayton State is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll and has a 16-game winning streak in their tournament.

Since ninth-year coach Dennis Cox took the helm, the Lady Lakers’ program has experienced unprecedented success, including winning the 2010-11 Division II national championship.

The Peach Belt Conference squad will matchup against Benedict of South Carolina on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and will play Barton on Sunday in a 3:30 p.m. tip-off.

Fellow Peach Belt Conference rival Lander will face Barton on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in the Classic’s first contest.

Clayton State is led by guard Drameka Griggs. The senior averages over 20 points per game and has been ultra effective in pacing the Lakers’ second-ranked scoring defense. Clayton State opponents are averaging just 47 points per game and are shooting a meager 31 percent from the field.

Griggs recorded six steals to go along with 22 points, five assists and six rebounds in the Columbus State game.

After the Classic, the Lakers will host a couple of Peach Belt foes in Armstrong State and Flagler next week before traveling to a showdown with third-ranked South Carolina-Aiken.