Oh so close! Clayton State men drop 64-62 heartbreaker to rival Augusta State
MORROW, Ga. – January 14, 2012 – Every time Clayton State and Augusta State square off in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball, expect the contest to go down to the wire. Saturday night was nothing different.
However, a final shot would not fall for the Clayton State Lakers as they dropped a tough 64-62 decision to Augusta State at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The defeat drops Clayton State to 9-5 overall and 2-4 in the Peach Belt, while Augusta State improves to 8-6 overall and 4-2 in the Peach Belt. All four of the Lakers' Peach Belt defeats this season have been by a combined 10 points.
This was vintage Clayton State-Augusta State as neither team had bigger than a seven-point lead, and there were 11 ties and 13 lead-changes throughout. In the first half alone, there were six ties and 10 lead-changes as the score was deadlocked 34-34 at halftime.
After Clayton State twice led by four points, Augusta State used a 6-0 run to take a four-point lead. Devon Wright-Nelson's follow-up dunk gave the Jaguars a 24-20 lead at the 8:56 mark. But the Lakers responded with a 7-0 run of their own as Teondre Williams scored on an inside lay-up, and a 3-point basket by Reco Lewis gave Clayton State a 27-24 with 7:22 remaining.
Consecutive jump shots by Travis Keels and another by Wright-Nelson put the Jaguars back ahead by three points, but the Lakers got a 3-point basket by Salter and Tony Dukes' lay-up in transition gave Clayton State a 34-32 lead at the 2:01 mark.
Wright-Nelson tied the game on a jump shot on Augusta State's ensuing possession, where it stayed at halftime.
Augusta State stretched its lead to as many as seven points in the second half. Two straight baskets by Wright-Nelson, and a lay-up by Kelth Cameron gave the Jaguars a 52-45 lead at the 11:03 mark. O'Neal Armstrong's 3-point basket gave Augusta State a 55-49 lead with 8:31 remaining.
But Clayton State fought back. Williams sank a 3-point basket and converted two free throws to cut the Augusta State lead to one point. Salter also cut the deficit to one point twice on two free throws and a jump shot before putting the Lakers ahead 60-59 on a jumper with 3:59 remaining.
Augusta State took a brief lead on a jumper from the top of the key by Devonte Thomas, but the Lakers answered quickly as Salter tied it 62-62 on jump shot at the 2:12 mark. However, the play of game took place on Augusta State's next possession when it appeared Dukes had a steal and was fouled from behind. But the officials whistled the Lakers' Juron Dobbs for the foul instead.
The Jaguars' Harold Doby hit two free throws to put Augusta State ahead by two points with 1:07 remaining.
The Lakers turned it over on their ensuing possession, but made a defensive stop to retain possession with 14 seconds remaining. However, Dukes' potential game-winning 3-point basket as time expired was off the mark.
Salter scored 25 points to pace Clayton State, while Williams scored 12 points. The Lakers shot 43 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. Wright-Nelson paced Augusta State with 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting from the field, while Thomas scored 14 points and Doby added 11 points.
Clayton State hits the road again this week with a two-game swing, starting on Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. encounter at Flagler.