Clayton State holds off late West Georgia rally to defeat Wolves 57-52 Tuesday
MORROW, GA – The Clayton State men's basketball team held off a late West Georgia run to down the Wolves 57-52 in men's basketball action Tuesday at the Athletics & Fitness Center's Mason Barfield Court.
Leading by 19 points early in the second half, West Georgia chipped away and made things interesting in the final minutes of the contest only to have the Lakers prevail in the end.
"We played well for a 20-minute stretch both offensively and defensively, well into the second half," said head coach Gordon Gibbons. "But the momentum shifted. I give our team credit for holding on down the stretch and for finishing the game."
Clayton State led 55-52 with under two minutes remaining and after a Laker turnover, the Wolves' Quincy Hill appeared poised to cut the deficit to a single point in the final seconds until senior guard Tony Dukes came out of nowhere to swat away an easy layup attempt and deny West Georgia.
Dukes came back on the next possession and gave the squad a 56-52 lead, hitting 1-of-2 free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining. After a West Georgia missed shot, senior forward Juron Dobbs hit another free throw for the squad's five-point victory.
With the win, the Lakers improve to 2-0 on the season, while West Georgia falls to 1-2 overall. The Lakers will return to action on Saturday, November 24th, traveling to face Wingate before returning home on Wednesday, November 28th, to play Carver.
Clayton State led 33-18 at halftime, and came out of the locker room with two quick baskets as forward Charles Shedrick scored off a rebound, followed by an Omari Murray steal and dunk, giving the squad its largest lead of the game, 37-18.
West Georgia cut the deficit to nine points, 45-36, with 12:15 remaining only to have the Lakers push their lad back to 12 points, 48-36, after a 3-point play by Shedrick. The junior forward stuck back in a rebound and was fouled on the play.
The Wolves made one final push in the final seconds and a three-pointer by West Georgia's Brett Seljack to cut the deficit to three points, setting up the heroic block by Dukes.
Clayton State had a balanced scoring attack with four players in double-digits. Shedrick led the way with 16 points and eight rebounds, hitting 6-of-13 shots from the field. Dukes chipped in 13 points, while Murray had 12 points and six boards. Juron Dobbs finished with his first "double-double" of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
For West Georgia, Taylor Cochran had 17 points, followed by Hill with 11 points.
The Laker defense shined, holding the Wolves to only 33 percent from the field, hitting only 19-of-57 shots. Clayton State hit 44 percent from the field, draining 20-of-46 shots. Neither team shot well from the free throw line, as the Lakers hit only 57 percent (13-of-23) from the line, while West Georgia made only 8-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe.
Clayton State outrebounded West Georgia 41-30 but did commit 16 turnovers compared to only 10 for the Wolves.