Lakers open season with convincing 76-56 win over Tennessee Temple
MORROW, GA – It was a special night at Clayton State's Athletics & Fitness Center, and the Laker men's basketball team provided a perfect ending on the joyous occasion.
On a special night in which Clayton State dedicated its floor for retired Athletic Director Mason Barfield, the Lakers opened its season with a convincing victory, defeating Tennessee Temple 76-56.
After both teams swapped baskets in the early minutes, the Lakers took control of Tuesday's contest, with a 19-4 run, five minutes into the game. A jumper by guard Tony Dukes ignited the run at the 14:29 mark and a steal and layup by guard Sirdarius Henry capped the run, giving the team a 25-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the period.
Tennessee Temple answered, cutting the deficit to five points, 32-27, with 3:09 remaining only to have the Lakers push its lead back to double digits to close the half. A layup by Henry in the closing seconds gave the squad a 40-27 lead at intermission.
The Lakers maintained a double-digit for the remainder of the game only to have the Crusaders threaten a couple of times. Tennessee Temple cut the deficit to 11 points, 61-50, on two free throws by guard Travaris Clarke, but the Crusaders would come no closer.
Clayton State re-extended its lead to 20 points, 70-50, with 3:21 remaining on two free throws by Murray and pushed its advantage to a game-high 24 points, 76-52, on two free throws by Henry with 49 seconds remaining.
Murray had 16 points to lead a balanced attack for the Lakers with four players in double-digits. Henry finished with 15 points, followed by Shedrick with 13 and Dukes with 10 points. Forward Juron Dobbs chipped in nine points to go along with 10 boards. Murray also had 10 rebounds for a "double-double" in the game, while Henry had a good night on the defensive end with seven steals.
For Tennessee Temple, guard Weedlens Beauvil finished with 18 points, followed by forward Hampton Mack with 11.