November 16, 2011

Clayton State men gain big early-season 62-57 victory at Limestone

GAFFNEY, S.C. – November 16, 2011 – Playing on the road for the first time this season, the Clayton State Laker men's basketball team gained a tremendous victory on Wednesday as the Lakers knocked off Conference Carolinas power Limestone 62-57 at the Timken Center.

The victory improves the Lakers to 2-0 on the young season. Limestone, which earned an NCAA Division II National Tournament berth last season, falls to 2-1 overall. It was the first time in 14 seasons that these two teams have squared off against each other. Limestone was picked as the preseason favorite in Conference Carolinas.

"This was a game that we had to get on the road, and it was a big win," said Clayton State head coach Gordon Gibbons. "There are some nights when the shots just don't fall, but it was our defense and rebounding that got the job tonight."

Limestone entered the game shooting 50 percent from the field in its first two games. But the Lakers limited the Saints to only 36 percent shooting from the field. The key for Clayton State was containing Limestone forward Jarrell Douglass, a Division II preseason All-American, and the Lakers did just that.

Douglass was averaging 27 points and 11 rebounds coming into the game. However, Clayton State limited him to only 14 points and five rebounds.

The score was tied four times in the first half before the Lakers took the lead for good on a turnaround jumper in the paint by forward Tyrone Black at the 4:59 mark. A jump shot by Teondre Williams and a dunk by center Andrew Bachanov stretched the Clayton State lead to 27-21 with 2:40 remaining.

Williams drained another jump shot, and his breakaway dunk in transition gave the Lakers a 33-25 lead at halftime.

Each time Limestone made its move in the second half, Clayton State had an answer.

The Saints trimmed the lead to two points early, only to have Clayton State answer with an 11-0 run. Bachanov drained a big 3-point basket from the top of the key, and a lay-up in transition by Reco Lewis gave the Lakers a 47-36 lead at the 10:03 mark. Williams then gave Clayton State its largest lead of the game (49-36) on a jumper with 8:36 remaining.

Limestone came back behind 3-point baskets by Ryan Bogdan and Josh Corry. However, Williams again came up big for the Lakers. The senior transfer from Oregon drained two straight 3-point baskets and Clayton State led 57-46 with 5:04 remaining.

Williams paced Clayton State with 17 points, while Bachanov was tremendous in the paint with 13 points and eight rebounds. Off the bench, Lewis scored 10 points. Clayton State shot 41 percent from the field, and out-rebounded Limestone 40-39.

In addition to Douglass, Corry scored 16 points on four 3-point baskets for Limestone.

Clayton State is back in action on Tuesday when the Lakers renew their in-state non-conference rivalry against West Georgia. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

Questions and comments should be directed to mikemead@clayton.edu

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