Second-half comeback propels No. 5 Clayton State women past Georgia Southwestern
MORROW, Ga. – December 14, 2011 – Playing its Peach Belt Conference opener on Wednesday, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team used a tremendous second-half rally to prevail 66-62 over visiting Georgia Southwestern at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
The victory was sixth straight for Clayton State, which is ranked fifth this week in the latest Division II Top 25. The Lakers improve to 9-1 overall, while upstart Georgia Southwestern falls to 8-2 and 1-1 in the Peach Belt.
Clayton State could not get in rhythm offensively in the first half as Georgia Southwestern built as much as a 10-point lead. Kayla Mobley drained a jumper for the Lakers with 13 seconds remaining, trimming the Lady Hurricane lead to 32-26 at halftime.
However, Clayton State opened the second half on a roll as the Lakers went on a 12-0 run. Brittany Hall connected on two 3-point baskets to give the Lakers a 36-32 lead at the 17:11 mark. Clayton State pushed the lead to 10 points, 44-34 on a 3-point basket by Mobley with 14:28 remaining.
After Georgia Southwestern trimmed the lead to five points on a lay-up by Jessica Jones, Clayton State responded with a 9-0 run. Shacamra Jackson started the rally with a lay-up inside, and Drameka Griggs converted a 3-point play and scored on a lay-up in transition to give the Lakers a 59-45 lead at the 7:13 mark.
But Georgia Southwestern would not give in. Thanks to four free throws and a 3-point basket by Tania Walters, the Lady Hurricanes trimmed the lead to 61-58 with 2:32 remaining. Adrian Randall then scored on an inside lay-up, and two free throws by Walters tied the game at 62-62 with 57 seconds remaining.
That finished off a 17-3 run by the Lady Hurricanes.
Clayton State reclaimed the lead on two free throws by Mobley, but the Lakers committed a turnover with 30 seconds remaining to give Georgia Southwestern another chance. However, Jessica Jones' jumper in the lane was off, and the Lakers' Tanisha Woodard grabbed the rebound with four seconds remaining.
Woodard sank both free throws to seal the victory for Clayton State.
Griggs paced a balanced Laker scoring attack with 13 points off the bench, while Mobley and Hall each scored 12 points and Woodard added nine points. For Georgia Southwestern, Terra Branch scored 13 points, while Randall scored 12 points and Jones added 10 points. For the game, the Lady Hurricanes shot 79 percent from the free throw line.
Clayton State is back in action on Monday with a key Peach Belt Conference encounter at in-state rival Columbus State. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. at the Lumpkin Center.