Defending PBC Champs announce 2012-13 schedule
MORROW, GA – The Clayton State women's basketball program has announced its schedule for the 2012-13 season, and fans of the program will have plenty of opportunities to cheer on the Lakers from the friendly confines of the Athletics & Fitness Center.
The Lakers, who are the defending Peach Belt Conference Champions and advanced to their eighth straight NCAA Division II National Tournament last year, begin practice next week. The challenging 26-game schedule features 14 regular season home contests, including three tournaments, two of which will be hosted by Clayton State.
"We will be faced with another challenging schedule this year for sure," said Cox, who is 213-53 entering his ninth season at the Laker helm. "Opening in the Union University Classic will be no easy task as we face two programs that have a storied history of success in women's basketball. The rest of the non-conference and Peach Belt schedule will be tough again as we face several teams that advanced to the NCAA tournament last year."
The Lakers open the regular season on the road in Jackson, TN, in the Union University Lady Bulldog Classic, facing two of the toughest teams that NCAA Division II and the NAIA has to offer. The Lakers will play perennial Division II women's basketball powerhouse Delta State on Friday, November 16th, followed by facing the host Union, who has captured multiple NAIA National Championships over the last few years the next day.
Clayton State's home schedule will begin on Saturday, December 1st, hosting the Clayton State Laker Classic. The Classic will feature Clayton State, league opponent North Georgia, regional opponent Lenoir-Rhyne and Chowan. Clayton State will play Chowan and Lenoir-Rhyne in the two-day event.
This year's Peach Belt Conference schedule will consist of 19 league games with the addition of a new team in Young Harris College to the conference. The Lakers will open their PBC schedule on the road in Americus, facing in-state opponent Georgia Southwestern on Saturday, December 15th. The squad will turn right around and open its home league schedule two days later against another long-time rival in Columbus State on the December 17th.
"Women's basketball in the Peach Belt is extremely athletic and competitive," said Cox. "This year will be no exception. I don't expect us to be favorite this year, having lost a lot to graduation in the last two years, but I wouldn't count us out. We still have a foundation of players that knows what it takes to win in this league. It should be fun to watch, and we look forward to the challenge."
Another highlight of the 2012-13season will be the 12th annual Heritage Bank Holiday Classic, which Clayton State will host December 29th-30th. Along with Clayton State, the tournament will feature Peach Belt Conference foe Lander, regional opponent Barton and Benedict. Clayton State will face Barton and Benedict in the two-day event.
A couple of other notably league games will be Saturday, February 9th, as the Lakers host Montevallo for Homecoming and the Saturday, February 23rd contest against Georgia Southwestern, which will be Senior Night.
Clayton State closes its PBC regular season on the road at the Lumpkin Center on the campus of Columbus State on March 2nd, the site of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Basketball Championships, which will be held the following week.
Clayton State, the 2010-11 NCAA Division II National Champion, is coming off another stellar year finishing 29-4 last season. The Lakers return seven players off last year's team that captured the program's fifth Peach Belt Conference Championship in eight years. Cox also has an impressive recruiting class that features six new players to the fold.