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Clayton State Wins Women's Basketball Regular-Season Championship!

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Peach Belt Champions! Record-setting Night as No. 4 Clayton State Women Roll 93-58

MORROW, Ga. – February 25, 2012 – On the night in which she played her final regular season home game, Tanisha Woodard went out with a bang for the Clayton State Laker women’s basketball team.

One of two seniors being honored on “Senior Night,” Woodard enjoyed a record-setting night as the No. 4-ranked Lakers clinched the Peach Belt Conference regular season championship with a convincing 93-58 victory over visiting Georgia College at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The victory concludes Clayton State’s regular season at 26-2 overall and 16-1 in the Peach Belt Conference.

It’s the fifth Peach Belt Conference regular season championship for Clayton State under head coach Dennis Cox. Up next for the Lakers is the 2012 Peach Belt Conference Tournament on Thursday at 1 p.m. against Augusta State at the Lumpkin Center at Columbus State.

Woodard accomplished two tremendous milestones. First, she recorded four steals and broke the Peach Belt Conference career steals record with 408. She eclipses the previous mark of 407 held by Columbus State’s LaShawn Mincey from 1997-2001. In addition, Woodard recorded a rare triple-double with 13 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

It’s only the third triple-double ever recorded in the history of Peach Belt Conference women’s basketball.

Clayton State never trailed from the start and built an early 13-point lead in the first 10 minutes. Drameka Griggs converted two free throws to give the Lakers a 20-7 at the 10:41 mark. Clayton State stretched the lead to 22 points with a 13-0 run. Griggs scored twice in transition and a lay-up by Kayla Mobley in transition gave the Lakers a 35-13 lead with 3:27 remaining.

The Lakers took their largest lead of the first half, 42-18 on a lay-up by Shannon Smith with 51 seconds remaining.

Clayton State used an 11-0 run early in the second half to put the game out of reach. Brittany Hall and Smith each converted lay-ups, and a Griggs lay-up in transition gave the Lakers a 59-31 lead at the 12:52 mark. Clayton State extended its lead to 30 points for the first time on a 3-point play by Smith with 8:21 remaining.

That was part of a 13-1 run Laker run as Hall drained a 3-point basket to give Clayton State a commanding 85-44 lead with 5:18 remaining. That was the Lakers’ largest lead of the game.

Overall, five Clayton State players scored in double-figures. In addition to Woodard, Griggs paced the Lakers with 20 points, followed by Keona Dixon with 15 points. Hall, who was also playing her final regular season home game on “Senior Night,” scored 13 points, as did Smith off the bench. Mobley added nine points with 13 rebounds.

Freshman Shanteona Keys scored a game-high 29 points for Georgia College (4-22, 2-15 PBC), while Belinda Schaafsma added 11 points.

Pacers Lock Up No. 1 Seed in PBC East

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – The nationally 10th-ranked University of South Carolina Aiken women's basketball team closed out its 2011-12 regular season with a 69-49 Peach Belt Conference victory over Flagler at Flagler Gymnasium.

The victory over Flagler on Saturday assures USC Aiken of the No. 1 seed in the Peach Belt Conference East Division in the upcoming Peach Belt Conference Basketball Tournament in Columbus, Ga.

USC Aiken (23-3, 16-2 PBC) will play at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1 against Peach Belt Conference West Division No. 4 Montevallo.

The Pacers enter the PBC Tournament having won their last seven games.

Two Pacers finished with double-doubles in Saturday's victory over Flagler with Kayla Harris (Raleigh, N.C./Wakefield HS) scoring a career-high 27 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Harris was 10-for-13 from the field in the game. She hit all seven of her free throw attempts.

Brittany Hill (Mechanicsville, Va./Quinnipiac) also claimed a double-double in the game with 10 points and 10 assists. Her 10 assists marked the second straight game that she has dished out 10 or more assists in a game.

Hill almost claimed a triple-double in the game as she also had six rebounds. She picked up four steals in the game.

USC Aiken ended its regular season finale shooting 51.9 percent (28-for-54) as a team. Flagler shot 39.1 percent (18-for-46) as a team in its loss.

Three Flagler (14-22, 2-16 PBC) players finished in double figures with Treva Mason leading the way with 17 points.

The score was 11-all with 13:36 remaining in the first half, but the Pacers quickly went on an 11-2 spurt to take a 22-13 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the opening stanza.

The nine-point lead would not last though with Flagler going on a 9-0 run of its own to tie the game at 22-22 with 5:38 left in the first frame.

The Pacers would then close the half on an 11-2 run to enter the halftime break with a 33-24 lead.

USC Aiken would go on to extend its lead to 20 points at 66-46 with under four minutes to play in the game.

Lady Cougars Secure No. 2 Seed from PBC West, Defeat Georgia Southwestern 64-54

Columbus – The Columbus State University women's basketball team missed their first five shots of the game and fell behind 13-1 to Georgia Southwestern before battling back to defeat the Lady Hurricanes 64-54 in a key Peach Belt Conference game inside the Lumpkin Center.

With the victory, CSU (16-10, 11-6) clinched the second seed from the West Division in next week's PBC Tournament in Columbus. The Lady Cougars will take on UNC Pembroke Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.

Unlike CSU, Georgia Southwestern came out hot making six out of their first 11 shot attempts to jump out to a 13-1 lead with 15:37 remaining in the opening half. GSW had a very balanced attack with five different players scoring during the run.

From there, Columbus State slowly began chipping away at the deficit cutting it to eight (16-8) with 12:49 left in the first half as Chatil Bradford completed a three-point play after being fouled on a successful layup attempt.

Another old fashion three-point play by the Lady Cougars made the score 19-13 with 10:38 showing on the clock. Carrie Washington finished off the layup after being fouled by Adrian Randall. A Dominique Gilbert jumper on the next possession pulled CSU within four (19-15) midway through the first half.
GSW scored the next five points to quickly take a nine-point advantage. Jessica Bivins hit a three with 9:01 on the clock to make the score 24-15.

The two sides would exchange buckets for the remainder of the half until CSU scored the final four points making it a 34-32 game at the break.
 
Asha Alexander made the first basket of the second half to knot the game at 34 all. It was the first time since the opening tip that the game was tied. Alexander stole a pass on the next possession and laid in a bucket to give CSU a 36-34 lead, their first advantage of the day.

After a pair of free throws by Lauren Matheney, Terra Branch connected on a three-pointer bringing Georgia Southwestern to within one (38-37) of CSU with 16:22 left in the game.

In one of their most impressive stretches of the season, the Lady Cougars outscored GSW 21-8 over the next nine minutes to take a commanding 61-47 lead with 6:16 remaining in the game. During the run, Davenport scored seven points while Marina DeFoor knocked down two from long range.

Dominique Gilbert recorded her 11th double-double of the season as she scored a game high 15 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. She also blocked five shots upping her season total to 68 becoming the all-time single-season record holder.

Asha Alexander and Letiecia Davenport each scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Adrian Randall scored 15 for Georgia Southwestern going 7-for-13 from the field. Tania Walters brought down a game high 12 rebounds.

As a team, GSW shot 28.4 percent (21-for-74) while shooting 18.8 percent (6-for-32) in the second half.
 
ASU Edges Pirates, 55-53; Lady Jaguars qualify for next week’s PBC Championships

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Augusta State used a decisive run late in the second half to register a 55-53 Peach Belt Conference road win Saturday night over Armstrong Atlantic State in Alumni Arena.

With the victory, the Lady Jaguars (21-14, 7-11 PBC) clinched fourth place in the conference’s East Division and qualified for next week’s PBC Championships on the campus of Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. ASU will take on regular-season champion Clayton State on Thursday, March 1 at 1:00 p.m., at the Lumpkin Center in the first game of the tournament.

ASU moved out to a nine-point advantage at 52-43 with just 2:58 left after a jumper from Becky Newhouse capped a 9-2 spurt in which five different players scored. Amber Peterson swished a pair of free throws to put ASU up 54-47 with 45.5 seconds left. Karolina Rykowska answered with a 3-pointer just seven seconds later before Newhouse hit 1-of-2 free throws for a 55-50 Lady Jag advantage with 35 seconds remaining.

Mauri Wells kept AASU in the game when she canned a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the :17 mark. The Pirates fouled to send ASU’s Brittany White to the free throw line for a 1-and-1 opportunity. Her first attempt missed, and Wells snagged the rebound and rushed up the floor. Her running jumper from the right wing just missed, giving the Lady Jags their seventh road win of the season and fifth in conference play.

ASU sophomore Jemimah Ashby posted a team-high 12 points, while White and Newhouse each had 11. Junior forward Laci Schreiber hauled in a career-high 15 rebounds as ASU claimed a 47-37 advantage on the boards. White added four assists and four steals.

Rykowska booked a game-high 14 points, D.D. Gipson notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Demisha Mills netted 10 off the bench.

Lady Braves Ends Regular Season With A Bang

GREENWOOD, S.C. – An impressive field goal shooting percentage of 42.6 percent gave the UNCP women's basketball team the advantage in the 63-62 nail-biting victory over No. 19 Lander on Saturday afternoon in Horne Arena.

UNCP (15-11, 12-6 PBC) recorded its highest number of wins in conference action since joining the NCAA Division II in 1992 and also marked the most wins in conference action under head coach John Haskins. The Lady Braves posted their fourth-consecutive victory this season and have won seven of their last eight games.

The Lady Braves snapped a six-game losing streak in the series with Lander (20-6, 15-3) and captured their first victory in Horne Arena since Jan. 31, 2007. The victory marked the second time this season that the Black and Gold have defeated a nationally-ranked team and the first time that accomplishment has been achieved in school history.

UNCP has shot more than 40.0 percent from the field for three-straight games and for the 12th time this season. The Black and Gold were led by four athletes in double figures as Amelia Partin led the offense with 18 points. Taylor Gallentine and Jasmine Hairston each drained 12 points, while DeDe Cotten notched 11 points and led the defense with nine rebounds.

Partin and Cotten each nailed a trio of shots from behind the arc, while Gallenitne and Cotten were perfect from the charity stripe.

Despite being out-rebounded by four and committing two additional turnovers, UNCP proved a strong offensive game with accurate shooting be the determining factor in a win. Along with a strong field goal shooting percentage, UNCP was 35.3 percent from the 3-point line and 70.8 percent from the foul line.

"I am really proud of the girls' effort," said Haskins. "I thought that everyone that came in the game did something positive, but it was a total team effort."

The Bearcats held onto the lead from the start of the game and kept the Lady Braves pacing to within three points, until UNCP took the first lead of the game on Washington's layup at the 3:53 mark in the first half with a score of 23-22. Throughout the final four minutes, the lead changed three times and the score was tied twice.

Coming out of halftime with the lead, the Black and Gold pulled ahead by four points, but lead tossed back-and-forth, until the game was tied for the eighth time with less than three minutes left to play. Gallentine pushed the squad ahead by two with her free throws, but Ciara Lyons brought the Bearcats to within one on her foul shot.

Hairston and Partin gave the squad a three –point lead, but the clutch shot was the final foul shot by freshman PBC Player of the Week Jazmine Kemp to put the team up by four. Brittni Johnson connected on a 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, but due to Kemp's previous foul shot, UNCP put away the epic victory.

"Overall this was a very good win and I am proud of it. The girls kept battling and kept believing they were going to win."

UNCP knocked down 26 points in the paint, while Lander had 24. Johnson was the leading scorer for Lander with 22 points, while Lyons totaled 13 points and eight rebounds. The Bearcats shot 35.0 percent from the field and 57.9 percent from the foul line.
 
"We are excited about having some momentum about going into the Peach Belt Conference Tournament and I know we have a tough draw with Columbus State in the first round."

Falcons Clinch Postseason Berth in Regular Season Finale, 55-48

MONTEVALLO, Ala. – With a trip to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament on the line the University of Montevallo women's basketball team (11-15, 6-11 PBC) downed North Georgia College and State University (12-14, 6-11 PBC) for the second time this season to secure the fourth and final spot in the PBC West Division. The Falcons were led by senior Tiffany McClure (Montgomery, Ala./Tallahassee C.C.) who had 16 points, five assists and a pair of steals. Freshman Taylor Beverly (Brandon, Miss./Northwest Rankin) came up just short of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. She also added three blocks and three steals. Prior to the game the Falcons honored their four seniors including McClure, Davia Harris (Memphis, Tenn./Three Rivers C.C.), Shavonne Seymore (Hartsville, S.C./Northwest Florida State College) and Taylor Welch (Salem, Ill./Illinois Central College).

Harris added 12 points and seven rebounds while junior Zena Nasiloski (Hammond, Ind./Northeast C.C.) had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The Falcons shot 35.8 percent from the field including 28.6 percent from three-point range. UM also hit 71.4 percent from the free throw line. The Lady Saints shot 30.8 percent from the field including 26.7 percent from three-point range. NGCSU hit 75.0 percent from the free throw line.

UM dominated the paint out-scoring the Saints 22-8 in the interior.

The Falcons and Lady Saints exchanged baskets over the opening few minutes but with 15:33 to play in the first and the Falcons up 6-5 the Lady Saints began a 12-4 run to take a 17-10 lead with 7:57 left. UM immediately responded with a 14-4 run including six points from Harris to take a three-point lead with 3:09 to play. UM did not trail the rest of the half as the period ended 28-25.

The Falcons turned on the defense in the second half holding the Lady Saints to just 22.2 percent shooting. UM opened the half with five-straight points all from McClure to take a 33-25 lead. A minute later the Lady Saints began a 9-0 run to take a 36-35 lead with 12:29 to play. UM immediately responded with a 9-2 run of its own to take a six-point lead with just 6:29 left on the clock. The Falcons would control the game from that point on as the Lady Saints went cold from the field. North Georgia cut the lead to three with 1:37 left but a pair of Beverly free throws pushed the lead back to five and two more from McClure ended the game, 55-48.