No. 1 Clayton State advances
MORROW, Ga. – No. 1-ranked Clayton State took its first step towards defending its Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship on Wednesday with a convincing 90-48 victory against visiting Montevallo in the quarterfinals at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
The victory keeps Clayton State the only undefeated team in the nation in Division II at 29-0 overall. The Lakers also tied the school record for victories in a season, sharing the mark with the 2006-07 Clayton State team that advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four. Up next for the Clayton State is the Peach Belt Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday against No. 12 USC Aiken at The Convocation Center at USC Aiken.
Montevallo concludes its season 10-17 overall.
The Lakers eclipsed 50 percent from the field for the seventh time this season, shooting 53 percent. In addition, Clayton State also shot 44 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line. Defensively, the Lakers limited Montevallo to only 29 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range.
Clayton State jumped out to an early 10-0 lead and never looked back. A driving lay-up in transition by Drameka Griggs stretched the Laker lead to 19-4 at the 12:07 mark. The Lakers followed that with a 17-2 run to stretch their lead to 26 points.
A 3-point basket by Brittany Hall as time expired gave the Lakers a commanding 41-18 lead at halftime.
Clayton State never led by less than 24 points in the second half. Griggs capped off a 14-0 Laker run with a lay-up in transition to give Clayton State a 60-22 lead at the 13:38 mark. Clayton State’s largest lead of the game was 43 points, 87-44 on a free throw by Renee Jackson with 1:30 remaining.
Griggs paced Clayton State with 17 points off the bench on 7-for-9 shooting from the field. Teshymia Tillman followed with 16 points and seven assists, while Hall and Breanna Fort each scored 12 points. Jackson and Alexiss Griffin both added nine points off the bench. Clayton State’s bench was again tremendous as the Lakers got 44 points from the reserves.
For Montevallo, Davia Harris and Jessica Collins each scored nine points, while Alex Strickland and Carrie Parrott each scored eight points.