JACKSON, Tenn. – No. 10 Clayton State opened the 2012-13 season in impressive fashion Friday, defeating Delta State 68-51 in the Union Lady Bulldog Classic in Jackson, Tenn.
The Lakers took control of the contest five minutes into the second half with a 22-8 run in a 10-minute stretch. Leading 37-35 with 14:26 remaining in the contest, a steal by guard Benya Hanyard then two free throws from guard Keona Dixon ignited the run.
A 3-pointer two minutes later by Hanyard with 10:07 remaining, followed by a steal and a 3-point play by guard Drameka Griggs on the ensuing possession gave the Lakers a 10-point, 45-35, lead with 9:52 to play in the contest.
After both teams swapped baskets in the next couple of minutes, the Lakers’ patented pressure defense came up with four steals in a three-minute stretch, allowing Clayton State to push a 10-point lead into an 18-point lead, 59-41, with 4:52 remaining in the contest. Hanyard capped the run on a basket in the paint.
Delta State cut the deficit to 14 points on a jumper by Brittany James with 3:35 remaining but would come no closer in the contest. Clayton State led by a game-high 19 points on two different occasions in the final two minutes.
In the first half, the lead changed hands 12 times and was tied on seven different occasions. Neither team led by more than three points. Clayton State led 31-29 at intermission.
The Lakers had a balanced scoring attack in the victory with four players in double-digits. Griggs finished with a game-high 18 points, followed by Hanyard with 15 points. Forward Kayla Mobley added 14 points and center Shacamra Jackson chipped in 12.
Jackson also finished with eight boards for the team to go along with five blocked shots. Griggs finished with six steals.