Clayton State’s Murray pours in 30 points to lift Lakers to 66-62 win
Milledgeville, GA – The Clayton State men's basketball team got a career-high 30 points from forward Omari Murray and held on down the stretch to defeat Peach Belt Conference rival Georgia College 66-62 in Milledgeville Thursday.
Murray's 30 points came on 12-of-19 shooting from the floor. He also had nine rebounds and drained 6-of-8 free throws in the victory. Playing its best ball of the season, Clayton State has won five of its last seven games with the its two losses coming in overtime by one point to Young Harris and two points to Augusta State.
The win improves Clayton State to 12-11 overall and 8-8 in Peach Belt Conference play.
Clayton State will return to action on Saturday, traveling to face Montevallo in 12 p.m. game in Montevallo, AL. The game will be nationally televised as the CBS Sports Network's NCAA Division II Game of the Week. The Lakers defeated Montevallo 66-64 on a last second shot by forward Charles Shedrick on Homecoming last Saturday.
In Thursday's game, the Lakers led by 15 points, 56-41, with eight minutes in the game on two free throws by Murray before the Bobcats came storming back. An 18-5 run over the next seven minutes made it interesting down the stretch, as the Bobcats trailed only 61-59 with 1:07 left.
A basket and free throw by Murray pushed the Clayton State lead back to five, but Georgia College's Scott Ferguson immediately answered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to two points with 20 seconds remaining.
After a Laker turnover on the ensuing inbounds, the Bobcats had a chance to tie the game or even take the lead on a 3-pointer, but the Laker defense stiffened forcing Georgia College into a mistake, throwing a pass out of bounds.
Clayton State's Murray was then fouled on the next possession, and he drained two free throws to seal the Laker victory with two seconds in the game.
The game was tight throughout the first half with seven lead changes and the game being tied 10 times. The score was deadlocked at 22 at intermission.
In the second half, the Lakers raced out to a 10-point lead with a 20-10 run in the first seven minutes of the period. Guard Tony Dukes sparked the early run with two 3-pointers in a 30 second span.
Behind Murray's 30 points, center Andrew Bachanov posted a "double-double" with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Georgia College was led by Royal Thomas with 17 points, followed Aaron Robinson with 11 points and Robert Armstrong with 10 points.