Clayton State Holds Off Lander; Advances to Championship

Clayton State Holds Off Lander; Advances to Championship

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Peach Belt Conference west top-seed Clayton State was able to pick up a 71-63 victory over PBC East No. 2 Lander in the first women’s semifinal of the day at the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Basketball Tournament at the Frank G. Lumpkin Center on the campus of Columbus State.

Clayton State advances to the championship game with the win. They will face the winner of the PBC East No. 1 USC Aiken and PBC East No. 2 UNC Pembroke game at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 4. The Lakers will be looking for their fourth PBC Tournament title.

Clayton State (28-2) opened the game by racing out to a 9-3 lead over the first two and a half minutes of the contest. The Clayton State lead had ballooned to 11 with 10:21 remaining in the first half. The Lakers began the opening nine and a half minutes of the game shooting 47 percent (9-for-19) from the field, while Lander shot 22 percent (4-for-18) from the floor over the course of the same stretch.

Clayton State kept adding to its lead over the next seven minutes with the Lakers owning a 38-22 lead with 3:04 left in the first half of action. The Lakers would eventually go on to hold the Bearcats scoreless for the final 4:32 of the first half to take a 21-point 43-22 lead into intermission.

Clayton State concluded the first half shooting 48.6 percent (17-for-35) as a team. Lander (21-7) shot 23.7 percent (9-for-38) as a team in the first stanza.

Lander would open the second half by going on a 17-5 run to cut the Bearcat lead to just nine points at 48-39 with 14:22 to go in the game. After a Brittni Johnson 3-pointer from the right corner for Lander with seven minutes remaining in the contest the Bearcats had whittled Clayton State’s lead all the way down to five points at 61-56.

The Bearcats would get as close as three the rest of the way, but the Lakers would be able to withstand their valiant second half charge.

Clayton State ended its victory shooting 46.6 percent (27-for-58) as a team. Lander shot 33.3 percent (24-for-72) as a team in the game. The Bearcats shot 44.1 percent (15-for-34) in the second half.

Four Lakers finished in double figures with Keona Dixon leading the way with 18 points and six rebounds. Tanisha Woodard almost picked up her second triple-double in the last three games in the contest with 14 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.

Kayla Mobley had 13 points in the contest for Clayton State, while Shannon Smith was the final Laker in double figures with 10 points.

Ciara Lyons led a trio of Bearcats in double figures with 15 points. Mukia Myrick added 14, while Johnson posted 12 in the Lander loss.