Lakers open exhibition season with convincing 92-66 victory over Baseline USA
MORROW, GA – The Clayton State men's basketball team opened its 2012-13 exhibition season in impressive fashion Wednesday, downing Baseline USA 92-66 at the Athletics & Fitness Center.
Clayton State newcomer Craig Wong, a junior sharp-shooter from Plantation, FL, led the Laker attack with 18 points, which included five three-pointers. Guard Bernard Nugent, also a newcomer to the Lakers squad, added 16 points, hitting 6-of-9 from the field to go along with six steals and four assists.
"Tonight we saw improvement from our first outing in the area of half-court defense and rebounding," said head coach Gordon Gibbons. "Our press was again active, forcing 25 turnovers. The team is coming together and playing better as a group, but we still have a lot of work to do as we prepare to open the season."
Clayton State's defensive pressure helped the Lakers jump out to an early lead, and the squad never looked back. Forcing 13 turnovers in the first half, Gibbons' squad took a double-digit lead, 24-13, midway through the first half on a three-pointer by Nugent.
The Lakers put the game out of reach over the final 10 minutes of the half, going on a 27-11 run to close the stanza. After a 3-pointer by Wong with 1:52 remaining in the period, forward Omari Murray hit a free throw to give the team a convincing 27-point lead, 47-20. Clayton State maintained its lead into intermission, leading 51-24.
In the second half, Clayton State stretched its lead to a game-high 38 points on another 3-pointer by Wong, as he drained a shot with 14:39 remaining to give the squad a 69-31 advantage.
Along with Wong and Nugent, the Lakers had three others in double digits, as guard Tony Dukes finished with 13 points, followed by Murray with 11 and forward Charles Shedrick with 10 points. Forward Juron Dobbs pulled a game-high eight rebounds.
Clayton State shot 45 percent from the field, while holding Baseline USA to 33 percent. The Lakers also forced Baseline into 25 turnovers. The Lakers also controlled the boards, outrebounding their opponent 46-30.
Kurtis Woods led Baseline with a team-high 19 points, hitting 14-of-17 from the free throw line.