Clayton St. sets league record for wins
Mobley scores 21 points off the bench for No. 2-ranked Lakers
MORROW, Ga. – No. 2-ranked Clayton State used a 14-0 run midway through the second half to pull away from No. 6 Lander for a 76-60 victory in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional championship game on Monday night at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
Top-seeded Clayton State (32-1) advances to the Elite Eight to be held in St. Joseph, Mo., on March 22-23 and 25. Second-seeded Lander ends it best season ever at 29-4. The 32 victories by Clayton State is the most in a season by a Peach Belt Conference women’s program.
Kayla Mobley led the Lakers with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor, including one 3, and 4 of 5 free throws. Teshymia Tillman, the tournament MVP, added 19 points while hitting 8-of-14 field-goal attempts, including 3-of-4 3-pointers, and Drameka Griggs netted 12.
Lander, which outrebounded Clayton State 35-22 was led by Brittni Johnson’s 14 points. Johnson made 5 of 14 field goals, including two 3s, and 2 of 4 free throws. Shannon McKever, Tasheba Butler and Mukia Myrick all scored 10 points. Butler led the team in rebounds with seven.
Joining Tillman on the all-tournament team were Lander’s Johnson and Ciara Lyons, Clayton State’s Drameka Griggs, Barton’s Janetta Robinson and USC Aiken’s Kayla Harris.
With 9:53 left in the game and holding a 49-44 lead, Tillman’s 3-pointer ignited a 14-0 run that gave Clayton a 63-45 cushion at 7:21. Tillman’s 3 was followed by a Latonda Bruce three-point play, three more Tillman steals that she converted into layups and two Bruce free throws.
Lander closed the gap to 11 points at 70-59 with 1:30 left on a three-point play by McKever but that was as close as it would get.
After ties at 2-2 and 4-4 to open the game, Clayton State scored seven unanswered points on two pointers by Tillman and Griggs and a three-point play by Tanisha Woodard to take an 11-6 lead at 16:23.
Lander bounced back with its own 7-0 run on field goals by Lyons and Tasheba Butler and a three by Johnson to take a 13-11 advantage at 15:06.
The Lakers went back ahead at 16-13 on a 3 by Tillman and a 2 by Kayla Mobley.
Lander went on another 7-0 run to make it 22-16 at 7:16 on a two by Johnson and Lyons, a Johnson free throw and back-to-back layups by Lyons and Mukia Myrick.
Again, Clayton answered with yet another 7-0 run on a layup by Woodard and a field goal and 3-pointer by Mobley to take a 23-22 lead at 3:32. After Lander’s Myrick put back an offensive rebound and the Lady Bearcats got a 3 from Lyons to go up 27-25, Clayton State ended the half with a 7-2 run to take a 32-29 lead to the lockerroom.
The Lakers opened the second half with a 12-2 run on a pair of baskets by Shacamra Jackson and one each by Breanna Fort, Mobley, Woodard and Brittany Hall to take a 44-31 lead at 15:44.
Lander finally scored its first point in five minutes when Myrick hit the second of two free throws trim the lead to 44-32 at 14:37. Johnson followed with two layups to cut it to 44-36 at 13:34.
McKever’s bucket at 11:51 cut it to 47-40 and Brianna Webb’s three at 10:21 cut it to 49-45.
Clayton State connected on 29-of-53 field-goal attempts for 54.7 percent, including 4-of-12 three-point tries. The Lakers sank 14 of 18 free throws.
Lander made 23-of-54 floor shots, including 4-of-13 3s for 30.8 percent.