No. 1-ranked Clayton State women hang tough, but fall 75-59 at Vanderbilt
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – November 5, 2011 – For more than a half, the Clayton State Laker women's basketball team gave the Vanderbilt Commodores all they could handle. However, it was a nine-minute stretch in the second half that proved to be the difference.
Vanderbilt used that nine-minute stretch with a 24-0 run and the Commodores pulled away from the Lakers 75-59 in a preseason exhibition at Vanderbilt's Memorial Gymnasium. This was the final tune-up for top-ranked Clayton State before the Lakers open the regular season on Nov. 11 against Rollins in the Spartan Challenge Tournament at Tampa.
Despite the defeat, Clayton State head coach Dennis Cox was very upbeat about his team's effort and performance.
"We really played hard and competed hard, and we definitely surprised them with some things we did," said Cox. "I don't know what happened in the second half. It was like there was a lid on the basket and we could not score. That nine-minute stretch was the difference. What we learned is to beat a really good team; we have to play 40 minutes.
"So much can happen and the games can change so fast. But I feel good that we can play and be competitive with the tremendous teams. We challenged them and gave them a run for their money."
Clayton State stayed toe-to-toe with Vanderbilt throughout the first half, never trailing by more than five points. Late in the half, the Lakers used a mini 6-0 run to lead by three points.
Tanisha Woodard drained a 3-point basket to tie the game 29-29 with 1:27 remaining, and then another 3-point basket by Genesis Kelly gave the Lakers a 32-29 lead at the one-minute mark. But Vanderbilt responded with a lay-up by Jasmine Lister and another lay-up by Jordan Coleman as time expired to give the Commodores a 33-32 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, Clayton State twice regained the lead. Two free throws by Woodard at the 15:41 mark gave the Lakers a 42-41 lead. However, Clayton State would not score again until the 6:37 mark when Drameka Griggs drilled a jumper. At that point, Vanderbilt had a commanding 65-44 lead.
The closest the Lakers would get down the stretch was 13 points. Kelly paced Clayton State with 15 points, followed by Brittany Hall with 12 points and six steals. Woodard added seven assists and six steals.
Lister paced the Commodores with 18 points, while Christina Foggie scored 13 points and Claire Watkins added 10 points off the bench.