Wingate ousts defending champions
Burton’s runner in final seconds ends Clayton State’s season
AIKEN, S.C. -- A Nikki Burton layup with four seconds to go pulled Wingate to a one-point 64-63 win against defending national champion Clayton State in the first semifinal of the day at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional.
A 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining by Drameka Griggs of the Clayton State Lakers looked like the game-winning shot, but Wingate’s Burton drove down court in the next six seconds to deliver the final two points of the game.
Burton led the Bulldog shooting with 16 points, followed closely by Simone Rutledge with 15. Kurie Washington also hit double digits in the game, with 13 points.
Defense was the name of the game at the start, with only one foul shot on the boards for the first six minutes of the game. Once scoring got underway, the lead changed six times and the score tied five times. The two teams were equal in offensive rebounds with 14 each.
Wingate pulled ahead with 33 defensive rebounds to Clayton State’s 22.
“Clayton State is a great team. Their defensive pressure is relentless,” Wingate head coach Barbara Nelson said. “Our key was not feeding their defense with our offense.”
Drameka Dixon led Clayton State in double-digit scoring, with a total of 18 points. Tanisha Woodward contributed 14 points, Keona Dixon had 13 and Brittany Hall scored 11.
Clayton State led in steals with 17 to Wingate’s seven, but the effort wasn’t enough to overpower the Lakers, which led 31-25 at the half.