No. 1-ranked Clayton State women celebrate with 72-46 victory over Newberry
MORROW, Ga. – November 19, 2011 – On a night when they received their 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship rings and unveiled the national championship banner, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team had a successful home opener with a 72-46 victory over visiting Newberry on Saturday night.
Clayton State, the top-ranked team in Division II, improves to 3-0 with the victory, while Newberry suffered its first defeat of the season and is now 2-1 overall.
After two grinder-like games last weekend, Laker head coach Dennis Cox wanted Clayton State to get back to being more up-tempo and create points off turnovers. The Lakers did just that with 29 points off turnovers, forcing the Wolves into 29 points. And for the first time this season, Clayton State got some tremendous production from its bench with 29 points.
Newberry was able to keep it close in the first half, cutting the Laker lead to 21-20 on a lay-up by center Haylee Lepaio with seven minutes remaining. Clayton State stretched the lead to 10 points, 32-22 on a 3-point basket by Keona Dixon at the 3:17 mark, but Newberry trimmed the deficit to six points at halftime.
In the second half, however, the Lakers slowly pulled away.
Brittany Hall gave Clayton State a 48-35 lead on a 3-point basket with 10:11 remaining. Newberry would get no closer than 11 points after that as the Lakers finished the game on a 20-8 run in the final six minutes.
Dixon and Drameka Griggs scored on back-to-back lay-ups to give Clayton State a 60-40 lead at the 3:32 mark. A 3-point basket by Tanisha Woodard increased the Laker lead to 25 points, before Clayton State took its largest of the game, 72-43 on a 3-point basket by Alexiss Griffin with 14 seconds remaining.
Griggs and Dixon each scored 15 points to pace Clayton State, while Woodard scored 12 points with five steals. Hall scored nine points with five steals as well, while Kayla Mobley added eight points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
For the game, the Lakers shot 46 percent from the field. In the second half, Clayton State limited Newberry to only 25 percent shooting from the field.
Lepaio, a 6-foot-2 freshman center, paced Newberry with 20 points.
Clayton State returns to action on Friday at 4 p.m. against Tusculum in the Chick-Fil-A Thanksgiving Classic at North Georgia.