Clayton State basketball to play at USC Aiken on Wednesday
Morrow, GA – The Clayton State women’s and men’s basketball teams will hit the road Wednesday for Peach Belt Conference basketball action in Aiken, SC, and for the women’s team, the match up will be one of the biggest regular season games in program history.
Clayton State’s 4th-ranked and undefeated squad (13-0) will square off against 3rd-ranked and undefeated USC Aiken (12-0). Tipoff for the game between two of the best teams the Peach Belt and the nation has to offer is 5:30 p.m.
After the women’s game, the Laker men’s team, coming off an impressive 85-80 win over North Georgia on Saturday will take the floor for a 7:30 p.m. game. Tickets for the games at USC Aiken are $6 for adults, and children, visiting students and senior citizens are $4.
The women’s match-up between the Pacers and the Lakers will be highest ranking of two Peach Belt teams in a regular season game since the 2011 epic contest that featured top-ranked Lander and 2nd-ranked Clayton State. The Lakers won that contest 83-81 en route to the 2010-11 NCAA Division II National Championship.
Clayton State is coming off an 86-65 win over North Georgia on Saturday. The Lakers have been led so far this season by the play of guard Drameka Griggs, who is averaging 19.1 points per game, third best in the league. She also ranks third in field goal percentage and leads the PBC in steals and free throw percentage.
As in past seasons, Clayton State’s patented pressure defense has shined, as the Lakers lead the conference and are among the nation’s best (sixth in both categories) in fewest points allowed and in field goal percentage defense. Clayton State also leads the PBC in steals and blocked shots and ranks sixth and seventh nationally, respectively in those two areas. Center Shacamra Jackson leads the Peach in blocks and is second in the nation in blocked shots.
USC Aiken is coming off a 68-60 victory over Montevallo on Saturday. The Pacers are led by the duo of forward Kayla Harris and guard Daniela Tarailo. Harris averages 18.8 points per game, fourth best in the league, while Tarailo averages 15.2 points per game, eighth best in the PBC.
The Pacers feature the league’s top offense, averaging 72.8 points per game, followed by Clayton State second at 69.7. USC Aiken’s defense ranks second in the league, allowing only 54 points per game behind Clayton State at 51 points per contest.
Clayton State leads in the all-time series between the two clubs 14-11. The two teams split in games last year with the Pacers prevailing 52-47 in the Peach Belt Conference tournament and the Lakers winning 86-76 during the regular season.
In the men’s game, the Lakers will be looking to record their eighth win overall and fourth in the Peach Belt, while USC Aiken enters the contest with an 8-4 record and a 4-1 mark in the league.
Clayton State’s Tony Dukes led the way in the win over North Georgia, who had won 5-of-6 games, before falling to the Lakers. Dukes finished with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting, which included 5-of-7 from 3-point territory. The Lakers also got a season-high 18 points from forward Charles Shedrick.
Forward Omari Murray leads the team in scoring averaging 14.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, which is third best in the league. He is shooting 63.7 from the field, which also ranks third in the PBC.
For USC Aiken, guard Ronald Zimmerman leads the Pacers averaging 16.5 points per game, 10th best in the Peach Belt. Forward Paul Larsen averages a team-leading 7.6 rebounds per game. In the team’s last game against Montevallo, guard Re’Mon Nelson poured in 28 points in the win, followed by forward Drico Hightower with 19 points.
The matchup will feature one of the top offenses in the PBC against one of the top defenses in the league. USC Aiken ranks third in points per game (84.8), while Clayton State allows the third fewest points (66.8) in the Peach Belt.
Clayton State leads in the all-time series against USC Aiken 16-12. The two teams split games last season with the Pacers winning 48-40 in the PBC Tournament and the Lakers prevailing 74-71 in the regular season.