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Clayton State opens Peach Belt Conference schedule

Clayton State coach Dennis Cox will lead his seventh-ranked Lakers squad against Georgia Southwestern on Saturday in the Peach Belt Conference opener. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

Clayton State coach Dennis Cox will lead his seventh-ranked Lakers squad against Georgia Southwestern on Saturday in the Peach Belt Conference opener. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)

MORROW — Clayton State women’s basketball open defense of their Peach Belt Conference title while a new era in the men’s basketball program begins on Saturday.

The Lakers will host Georgia Southwestern in a doubleheader on Saturday as they open their Peach Belt Conference schedule at the Athletics Center.

Tip-off for the conference openers will be 1:30 p.m. for the women’s game and 3:30 p.m. for the men’s game.

Clayton State women’s team is ranked No. 7 in the country, and enters the game with a 4-1 mark. The Lakers are coming off an 80-66 win over Fort Valley on Tuesday. Georgia Southwestern is 4-3 on the year and lost 69-58 last Saturday in its Peach Belt Conference opener to Georgia College.

The Lakers, who have won the last three Peach Belt Conference regular season championships, lead 20-10 in the all-time series. Clayton State defeated Georgia Southwestern 73-51 and 91-43 last year.

On the men’s side, the Lakers will face off against an undefeated and nationally-ranked opponent in Georgia Southwestern. It will mark the first conference game of the Paul Harrison era for the Lakers.

The Hurricanes, ranked No. 21 in the nation, enter the contest with a perfect 9-0 record and are coming off a 75-73 win over Georgia College in their conference opener. Clayton State enters the game with a 4-1 record and defeated Truett-McConnell 82-78 on Wednesday.

Clayton State trails in the all-time series against Georgia Southwestern 18-11 and fell to the Hurricanes 70-54 and 70-64 last year.