Cold-shooting second half hurts Clayton State men in 74-62 defeat at North Georgia
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – February 11, 2012 – Aiming for its fifth victory in the last six games, the Clayton State Laker men's basketball team endured a poor shooting performance in the second half on Saturday and dropped a 74-62 decision at North Georgia in Peach Belt Conference action.
The defeat drops Clayton State to 14-8 overall and 6-7 in the Peach Belt as the Lakers' struggles against North Georgia continued. Clayton State has now dropped seven straight against the Saints and 11 of 13 since the series was renewed in 2005. North Georgia is now 9-15 overall and 4-9 in the Peach Belt.
"North Georgia always plays its best against us," said Clayton State head coach Gordon Gibbons. "This is frustrating. You just cannot shoot as poor as we did in the second half and expect to win conference games on the road. And we took good shots."
Clayton State could not find its offensive rhythm in the second half, shooting only 29 percent from the field. After trailing 39-36 at halftime, the Lakers kept it close for the early part of the second half. A 3-point play by Teondre Williams and a Reco Lewis 3-point basket tied the game 46-46 at the 14:12 mark.
Tony Dukes cut the North Georgia lead to 50-48 on a jumper at the 11-minute mark, but that was as close as the Lakers would get. Clayton State scored on 14 points over the remainder of the game as North Georgia pulled away.
Lewis sank a 3-point basket with 8:43 remaining to trim the Saints' lead to 56-53. But North Georgia countered with a Pat Moynihan 3-point basket and a driving lay-up by Victor Holder to lead 61-53 with 7:37 remaining. The Saints stretched the lead to 66-55 on a 3-point basket by Scott Windom with 4:09 remaining.
"That was a stretch where we went 2-for-15 from the field," Gibbons said. "We just cannot have those kinds of droughts."
Clayton State appeared in control in the first half, racing out three times to a nine-point lead. Williams made a 3-point basket to give the Lakers a 32-23 lead at the 6:07 mark, and a driving lay-up by Lewis made the Clayton State lead 34-25 with 5:32 remaining.
But North Georgia finished the half on a 14-2 run aided by six free throws.
"We were in a little foul trouble and tried to get to the half with the lead in good shape," Gibbons said. "We just gave them that spurt, and that was disappointing."
Williams paced Clayton State with 18 points on three 3-point baskets, while Tony Dukes scored 12 points and Juron Dobbs scored 10 points with eight rebounds. Center Tim Budd added nine points and eight rebounds for the Lakers.
Clarence Tillman paced North Georgia with 20 points on 8-for-8 shooting from the free throw line. Scott Windom scored 16 points, followed by Travis Core with 12 points and Moynihan added 10 points.
Clayton State travels to Georgia Southwestern on Wednesday for a key Peach Belt encounter at 7:30 p.m.