Clayton State looks to continue its success

MORROW — Are the Clayton State men’s and women’s basketball teams starting to peak at the right time?

That seems to be the indication as both head into the final seven games of the season. Both teams will travel to Alabama on Saturday to take on Montevallo in key Peach Belt Conference games.

The women’s team will ride a six-game winning streak into the 1:30 p.m. tip-off while the Lakers’ men’s team has won two straight.

After losing 10 of 11 games dating back to Dec. 11, Clayton State men have won two straight, including a 71-67 upset of No. 24 Georgia Regents University.

The win over Georgia Regents marked the second straight game that Lakers forward Charles Shedrick made a play in the final seconds to help lift the team to victory.

With four seconds remaining Wednesday, and the Lakers leading by two points (69-67), Shedrick intercepted the baseline inbounds pass from GRU Augusta around the free throw line, took a couple of dribbles and then soared for a slam dunk to preserve a 71-67 victory for the Lakers over the Jaguars.

The play came on the heels of Shedrick draining a 3-pointer on Feb. 1, to lift the Lakers to a 55-52 win over Lander at the Athletics Center in the closing seconds. The win improves Clayton State to 8-11 overall and 4-8 in the Peach Belt. Clayton State is still in the running for one of the top four spots in its division to make the conference tournament next month.

The women’s team is coming off a 62-42 win over Georgia Regents behind Shacamra Jackson’s 21 points, nine rebounds and seven blocks. Tiayra Green added 12 points, followed by Andrea Benford with a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards. Guard Bena Hanyard chipped in 10 points and pulled eight rebounds.

“We defended well with our feet tonight,” Lakers coach Dennis Cox said. “We had a lot of respect for a very talented Augusta team and our kids were ready to play from the tip.”

With the win, Clayton State improves to 14-5 overall and 9-3 in the league.

In the win, Clayton State turned in one of its top defensive performances of the season, holding GRU Augusta to 28 percent (17-of-61) shooting from the floor. The Lakers hits 40 percent (22-of-55) from the field. Clayton State won the battle on the boards 46-37 and committed 20 turnovers compared to 19 for the Jaguars.