Top-ranked Clayton State women rebound, outlast Brenau 68-54
DAHLOENGA, Ga. – November 26, 2011 – After suffering its first defeat of the season on Friday, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team needed a good pick-me-up on Saturday. Genesis Kelly was just the person for that.
The senior guard matched a career-high 20 points as the Lakers knocked off Brenau 68-54 in the X-Trem Thanksgiving Classic at North Georgia. The victory improves top-ranked Clayton State to 4-1 overall. Brenau, meanwhile, falls to 4-5.
Kelly connected on 8-for-12 from the field, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range to pace the Lakers. Clayton State would need all of that and them some against a scrappy Brenau squad.
Clayton State never led by more six points in the first half in which the lead changed hands four times with two ties. The Lakers took a 34-28 lead on a lay-up by Tanisha Woodard with 27 seconds remaining, but Brenau cut the deficit to four points at halftime as Gabby Harvey scored on a lay-up with seven seconds remaining.
Harvey gave the Tigers a two-point lead in the second half on a jumper at the 17:46 mark. But from there, Clayton State took control.
The Lakers answered with a 12-0 run over the next six minutes. Kelly twice scored on driving lay-ups off Brenau turnovers, and Woodard followed with another lay-up. A lay-up by Alexiss Griffin gave Clayton State a 48-38 lead with 11:42 remaining. Brenau never got closer than eight points after that.
Three times, Clayton State pushed the lead to 16 points over the last 10 minutes. A Drameka Griggs 3-point play gave the Lakers a 56-40 lead at the 8:10 mark, and Griggs scored again on a lay-up to give Clayton State a 61-45 lead at the 2:01 mark. Griggs then drained two free throws to make the Laker lead 63-47 with 1:10 remaining.
In addition to Kelly, Griggs scored 17 points off the bench on 9-for-11 shooting from the free throw line. Woodard added 11 points with five steals and four assists. For the game, Clayton State shot 71 percent from the free throw line and forced 33 Brenau turnovers.
Harvey paced Brenau with 15 points and 14 rebounds for a double-double, followed by Tala Black with 14 points.
Clayton State is back in action on Friday (Dec. 2), playing host to Chowan at 5:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.