Morrow, GA – The Clayton State women’s and men’s basketball teams will close its home regular season schedule on Saturday, and it will be the final home contest for a group of seven seniors and legendary men’s coach Gordon Gibbons.
The Lakers will host Peach Belt Conference rival Georgia Southwestern on Saturday for Senior Night with the 2nd-ranked Laker women tipping off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.
Along with recognizing this year’s senior class, the night will have an added special element as it will be the last home game for head coach and all-time wins leader Gordon Gibbons, who will be stepping down at season’s end.
Admission is $5 for adults and children 10-under are free. Clayton State faculty, staff and students are admitted free with their Laker ID.
The Clayton State women’s team has four seniors in this year’s class in Drameka Griggs, Shannon Smith, Keona Dixon and Kayla Mobley. The Laker men have three seniors in Juron Dobbs, Tony Dukes and Andrew Bachanov. Both senior classes and Coach Gibbons will be recognized between the women’s and men’s games on Saturday.
HEAD COACH GIBBONS
In his 12th season at Clayton State, Gibbons has a 218-132 record, giving him more wins and a higher winning percentage than any coach in the program’s history. In addition to his stellar accomplishments at Clayton State, he also amassed over 246 wins at Florida Southern, making him the only coach in NCAA Division II history to capture 200 victories at two different schools with a winning percentage of over 70 percent.
Overall, in 22 seasons at the NCAA Division II level, he is 464-195 for a winning percentage of .704, which ranks fourth in the nation among the active head coaches with 15 years of experience.
“Coach Gibbons has been one of the top collegiate coaches in the country and has touched the lives of thousands of young men. He has worked diligently to bring the Clayton State men’s basketball team into the national spotlight,” said Clayton State Athletics Director Carl McAloose. “Coach Gibbons will be missed, and I am sure he will be successful in whatever endeavor he pursues following his stay at Clayton State. I wish him the best and thank him for his hard work while at Clayton State.”
Gibbons had an instant impact on the Clayton State program from the moment he arrived in the spring of 2001, and through his leadership developed the men’s basketball program into one of the nation’s premier NCAA Division II programs and one of the elite programs of the Peach Belt Conference.
Under his leadership and since his arrival, the Lakers are 121-93 in Peach Belt play. Prior to his arrival, the Lakers’ Peach Belt mark was 24-40 in four seasons. The Lakers have captured the second most PBC wins over the last 11 years in the 14-team league and currently enjoy an 11-year streak of winning seasons, all accomplished during his tenure. Before his arrival, the Lakers had a combined four winning seasons in the 11 years of men’s basketball.
In Saturday’s women’s game, the Peach Belt Conference champion Lakers will put their 24-game, undefeated winning streak on the line against the Hurricanes. Clayton State is coming off a 75-61 win over Montevallo and was led by seniors Griggs and Dixon. All-American hopeful Griggs poured in 27 points, followed by Dixon with 22.
Georgia Southwestern enters the game with a 3-21 record and have lost 13 straight games. The Hurricanes are coming off a 78-56 loss to Augusta State on Saturday. The squad was led by Jasmine McSwain with 18 points.
Clayton State leads in the all-time series against Georgia Southwestern 18-10 and the defeated the Hurricanes 73-51 earlier this year.
Not only will the men’s game be emotional being Coach Gibbons’ last one at the Athletics & Fitness Center, it will also be an important one with postseason implications.
The Lakers and Hurricanes are currently tied for third in the Peach Belt Conference West Division at 8-9 in league play with two more conference games remaining. The top four teams from the East and West Divisions will advance to the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Championships in Columbus in March.
Overall, Clayton State enters the game with a 12-12 record and is coming off a 63-50 loss to Montevallo on Saturday. Forward Charles Shedrick led the club with 10 points in the loss. Georgia Southwestern is also coming off a loss, falling 52-43 to Augusta State on Saturday.
Clayton State trails in the all-time series against Georgia Southwestern 18-10 and fell to the Hurricanes 70-54 earlier this year in Americus, GA.