Slow second half start leads to Laker loss at Georgia Southwestern
Americus, GA – Trailing by only a basket at halftime, the Clayton State men's basketball team got off to a slow second half start, and it cost them Saturday in their Peach Belt Conference opener in Americus, GA.
The Lakers were outscored 24-9 in the first 11 minutes of the second half and were unable overcome the slow start. Clayton State trailed 51-41 after two free throws from center Tim Budd only to have the Hurricanes go on a quick 7-0 run in a two-minute spurt. GSW's Alan Arnett drained a 3-pointer to give the Hurricanes a 58-41 advantage with 9:12 left in the contest.
Clayton State came back and cut the deficit to 12 points on two different occasions, the last time on a basket by guard Tony Dukes with 4:17 in the game but the Lakers would come no closer.
In the first half, the lead changed hands seven times and was tied on nine occasions. The Lakers led by four points, 32-28, with 1:19 remaining in the half on a basket by guard Sirdarius Henry but Georgia Southwestern rattled off six unanswered points and took a 34-32 lead at intermission.
"We played well in the first half," said head coach Gordon Gibbons. "I thought the stretch to end the first half and the beginning of the second half was the key to the game. We weren't as selective in our shot selection in the second half and they did a good job on the offensive boards getting a number of second chance points."
The loss evens Clayton State's record at 4-4 on the season. The squad will open its Peach Belt home schedule against Columbus State on Monday. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m.
Forward Charles Shedrick led the Lakers with 15 points, followed by Budd with 12 points. Dukes chipped in nine points.
For GSW, Milos Kluet finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Matt Shaw with 16 points. Jamon Hawkins added 11 points.
Clayton State shot 39 percent (20-of-52) from the field, 38 percent (6-of-16) from behind the 3-point arc and 80 percent (8-of-10) from the free throw line. The Hurricanes hit 42 percent (23-of-54) from the floor, 27 percent (4-of-15) from 3-point territory and 63 percent (20-of-32) from the line.
GSW won the battle on the boards 40-28, and a 21-10 foul differential gave the Hurricanes 22 more free throw attempts.