Clayton State captures hard fought win over North Georgia 85-80 Saturday
MORROW, GA – The Clayton State men's basketball team captured an important Peach Belt Conference victory Saturday, defeating in-state rival North Georgia 85-80 at the Athletics & Fitness Center.
The Lakers won the game, hitting some big shots down stretch and making their free throws when they counted.
"A hard fought win over a hot team," said head coach Gordon Gibbons. "Again, we shot the ball well and battled on the defensive end. Balance and playing well together have been the key."
Leading 72-71 with 4:33 remaining, guard Tony Dukes drained a 3-pointer to give the team a four-point advantage, and after a North Georgia turnover, a dunk by forward Juron Dobbs pushed the lead to six points, 77-71, with 2:18 remaining.
North Georgia wouldn't go away though, as guard Lamar Richardson came right back nailing a 3-pointer to trim the lead back to three points. Clayton State's Dukes answered again though, draining another jumper, two of his team high 21 points, to give the Lakers a 75-70 lead with 1:30 remaining in the game.
Clayton State then reeled off four unanswered points to seal the victory, thanks to two free throws by Dukes and two free throws by forward Charles Shedrick, giving the Lakers a nine-point advantage with 26 seconds remaining.
With the win, the Lakers improve to 7-6 overall and even their Peach Belt record at 3-3 on the season. North Georgia drops to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in league play. Clayton State will return to action on Wednesday, traveling to face USC Aiken in a 7:30 p.m. game.
In the first half, North Georgia raced out to a double-digit lead only to have the Lakers answer. The Saints led 22-9 eight minutes into the game but Clayton State came back and took the lead, 26-24, on a 3-pointer by Dukes.
Leading 34-32 late in the half, North Georgia closed the period with a 5-0 run and took a 39-32 lead at intermission.
Dukes' 21 points came on 6-of-10 shooting, which included 5-of-7 from 3-point territory. Shedrick finished with a season high 18 points, making 7-of-11 from the floor. Forward Omari Murray finished with 13 points, followed by guard Sirdarius Henry and guard Craig Wong with 10 points apiece.
For North Georgia, Ishmael Hollis finished with a game high 25 points, followed by Scott Windom with 20 points. Richardson added 15 points.
Clayton State had one of its top shooting performances of the season, making 51 percent (27-of-53) from the floor, which included 53 percent (10-of-19) from 3-point territory.