7th-ranked Lakers improve to 3-0 with 66-60 win at Newberry
Newberry, SC – Trailing 58-55 with less than three minutes remaining Tuesday, the 7th-ranked Clayton State women's basketball team closed out the contest with an 11-2 run to capture an important region victory on the road, defeating Newberry 66-60.
The Lakers knotted the score at 58 apiece with an old-fashioned 3-point play by guard Bena Hanyard scoring a basket in transition off an assist by guard Drameka Griggs. Hanyard completed the 3-point with a made free throw with 2:19 remaining in the contest.
Then, the patented Laker defense clamped down forcing two turnovers and holding the Wolves to only one made shot over their next three attempts to secure the win.
Clayton State center Shacamra Jackson gave the squad a 60-58 lead with 1:32 remaining, followed by the squad pushing its advantage to four points on another basket by Hanyard. Griggs sealed the victory in the final seconds, draining four straight free throws.
"Tonight was a big character builder for our kids," said head coach Dennis Cox. "We had everything going against us in a real hostile environment, and we found a way to win. We showed a lot of poise down the stretch in critical situations. I'm very proud of them."
With the win, the Lakers remain undefeated at 3-0 on the season and will return home this weekend for the Loch Shop Classic Saturday and Sunday. The Classic will feature Clayton State, league opponent North Georgia, regional opponent Lenoir-Rhyne and Chowan. Clayton State will play Chowan on Saturday, followed by Lenoir-Rhyne on Sunday.
In Tuesday's game, the lead went back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than seven points in the first half only to have Newberry take a 29-28 advantage at halftime. To open the second half, Clayton State went on a 19-5 run to storm out to a 47-34 lead with 11 minutes remaining only to have Newberry battle back, setting up the finish.
For Clayton State, Griggs finished with a game-high 20 points, hitting 6-of-14 shots from the field, followed by Hanyard's 16 points and four steals. Guard Kayla Pryce finished with 12 points and forward Kayla Mobley chipped in 10 points and pulled a game-high 10 rebounds.
Newberry's Samantha Creed led the way for the Wolves with 16 points, followed by Haylee Lepaio with 13 points.
Clayton State was outrebounded 35-31 in the game but forced Newberry in 27 turnovers for the game.