Dominant second half lifts No. 2 Clayton State women to 80-44 rout at Flagler
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – January 19, 2012 – Whatever Clayton State head women's basketball coach Dennis Cox said to his team at halftime on Thursday must have resonated very well.
With the score tied at halftime, the Lakers erupted for a tremendous second half and rolled to an impressive 80-44 rout at Flagler in Peach Belt Conference action. The victory was the 14th straight for No. 2-ranked Clayton State, which improves to 17-1 overall and remains undefeated in the Peach Belt at 7-0. Flagler falls to 2-14 overall.
"It's hard to get up for a game like this, and we learned some lessons tonight," said Clayton State head coach Dennis Cox. "This was a big win and learned from it at the same time."
Flagler played nothing like a two with only two victories entering Thursday's game. The Saints forced seven ties and five lead-changes and never trailed by more six points in the first half. In fact, Flagler finished the first half on a 6-0 run as Charlsea Owen made a 3-point basket with 17 seconds remaining to tie the game 30-30 at halftime.
The Lakers struggled offensively in the first half, shooting only 26 percent from the field and only 13 percent from 3-point range.
"Flagler played very well in the first half and had a lot of confidence," Cox said. "We struggled shooting the ball, were not aggressive in the press and just didn't have the focus that we needed."
But the Lakers rolled in the second half, out-scoring Flagler 50-14. Clayton State shot 53 percent from the field in the second half, and limited Flagler to only 21 percent from field. Clayton State opened the second half on a 16-0 run behind the strong play of sophomore center Shacamra Jackson and junior point guard Drameka Griggs.
Jackson scored twice in the paint in the first five minutes, and Griggs converted a 3-point play at the 15:19 mark to give the Lakers a 43-30 lead. Flagler never got closer than 11 points from that moment on.
After the Saints trimmed the Clayton State lead to 46-35, the Lakers answered with another 16-0 run to increase their lead to 27 points. Junior center Shannon Smith got the rally started with two lay-ups inside, followed by two transition lay-ups by Tanisha Woodard.
A lay-up by Jackson at the 8:46 mark gave Clayton State a commanding 62-35 lead.
Four players scored in double-figures for Clayton State. The Lakers were paced by Jackson, who recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Griggs and Smith each scored 12 points off the bench, while Woodard added 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Lakers got 39 points off the bench and out-rebounded Flagler 56-37.
"Both of those post players (Jackson and Smith) did a tremendous job, and I had a lot of praise about them," Cox said. "I was real pleased with the way those two played tonight."
Owen scored 10 points for Flagler.
Clayton State concludes the two-game road swing with a 1:30 match-up at Armstrong on Saturday.