No. 3 Clayton State women open Peach Belt Conference Tournament with 69-41 victory over Augusta State
COLUMBUS, Ga. – March 1, 2012 – The start may not have been what was designed, but there was no doubting the finish for the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team as the Lakers opened the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament with a 69-41 victory over Augusta State on Thursday at the Lumpkin Center.
The victory improves Clayton State, ranked No. 3 in the nation in Division II, to 27-2 overall with its ninth straight victory. The Lakers advance to Saturday's 2 p.m. Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinal contest against the winner of Lander and Georgia Southwestern at the Lumpkin Center. Augusta State finishes its season 12-15 overall.
Neither team had the offensive intensity in the first half. Clayton State built an early 16-4 lead on a 3-point basket by Alexiss Griffin and a jump shot by Drameka Griggs at the 9:55 mark. But Augusta State answered with a 7-0 run to trim the lead to five points on a lay-up by Laci Schreiber with 7:57 remaining.
Clayton State built the lead back to 10 points on a transition lay-up by Griggs. However, the Lady Jaguars stayed with striking distance. Brittany White drained a 3-point basket and a Tiffany Jaecks' lay-up with 17 seconds remaining cut the Laker lead to 25-18 at halftime.
In the second half, however, Clayton State turned up the intensity. The Lakers shot 54 percent from the field and started pulling away.
Augusta State trimmed a 15-point Clayton State lead to 10 points 41-31 on a lay-up by White with 11:04 remaining. But Clayton State answered with a 3-point basket by Keona Dixon and two straight lay-ups by Griggs to push its lead back to 15 points. Back-to-back lay-ups by Tanisha Woodard gave the Lakers a 56-38 lead with 5:07 remaining.
Clayton State finished the game on a 13-0 run, holding Augusta State scoreless for the final 4:49 of the contest.
Senior guard Brittany Hall paced a balanced Clayton State attack with 15 points, followed closely by Griggs with 14 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field. Woodard and forward Kayla Mobley each scored 11 points. Woodard also grabbed eight rebounds, dished out seven assists and had six steals. She bettered her Clayton State single-season record for assists, now with 155 on the season.
Amber Peterson scored 14 points off the bench for Augusta State. Defensively, Clayton State limited Augusta State to only 31 percent shooting from the field and forced 28 Lady Jaguar turnovers.