Thursday, January 17, 2013

Clayton State Defeats USC Aiken in Battle of Nationally Ranked Teams

Wednesday evening, the Lady Lakers of Clayton State visited USC Aiken in a game with implications for conference standings and NCAA Division II national rankings.  Although Clayton State's 56-50 win gives the Lakers temporary bragging rights in a matchup we may see again come Peach Belt tournament time, each team remains at the top of its respective Peach Belt Division.  The loss is the first of the season for the Lady Pacers, who now stand 12-1 overall and 5-1 in Peach Belt play.  Clayton State improves to 14-0 overall and 7-0 in league play.  Clayton State entered the game as the nation's 3rd ranked team, and USC Aiken held the 4th spot.

The highly anticipated matchup featured seven lead changes and eight ties.  The Lady Pacers were first to strike, opening with an 11-2 scoring run.  But Clayton State would answer with a run of its own, taking a 19-16 lead before the teams entered intermission tied at 25.

USC Aiken entered the game averaging 72.8 points per outing, the highest among Peach Belt teams.  But Clayton State's stingy defense forced an uncharacteristically low 26% (14-54) field goal percentage as the Lady pacers were held to 50 total points.

But the Pacers found a way to stay close, forcing 15 Clayton State turnovers, and leading 47-46 at one time late in the contest.

But Drameka Griggs' 20 points was too much for the Lady Pacers, who were led by a trio of double figure scorers: Daniela Tarailo (12 poionts), Kayla Harris (11 points), and Porsha Martin (10 points).

USC Aiken will visit Young Harris on Saturday, January 19.

Clayton State will host UNC Pembroke at home on January 19. Watch highlights above.

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