Clayton State Uses the Final 10 Minutes to Close Out the Fish

Written By: Lindsay Oren, Sports Information Graduate Assistant

The Sailfish women's basketball team battled with the #6 nationally ranked Clayton State University Lakers before falling 81-55 in the closing minutes. Photo Courtesy of: Lori RichardsThe Sailfish women's basketball team battled with the #6 nationally ranked Clayton State University Lakers before falling 81-55 in the closing minutes. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards

Box Score

ATLANTA, Ga.- Polishing off their two-game series in upstate Georgia, the Palm Beach Atlantic University women’s basketball team visited the campus of #6 ranked Clayton State University for a Monday afternoon matchup on the hardwood. The Sailfish stayed with the Lakers (13-0) through most of the game before CSU lived up to their standings by exploding with an offensive performance in the final 10 minutes that resulted in an 81-55 victory.

The Lakers jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in the opening minutes, but the Sailfish returned with a quick 7-0 run of their own thanks to two easy lay-ins by Lynsey Poole and three points from the charity stripe put in by junior guard Hayley Fields.

Holding CSU to a mere 14% shooting in the initial 10 minutes, the Lakers finally began to take control offensively by putting on the full-court pressure and forcing turnovers on the Sailfish side. Despite pushing their largest lead to eight with just under nine minutes to play, the Sailfish fought back with a charge of their own to get within one point on two separate occasions at the 4:14 mark and again at the close of the half.

Clayton State took advantage of some early PBA foul trouble, making 22 trips to the line and connecting on 19. The Lakers were held to 6-30 shooting for a first half total of 20%. Although the Sailfish surrendered the ball over 18 times in the opening period, they stayed in the game by registering 10-22 shooting (45%) and staying a near perfect 11-12 from the foul line.

No CSU player connected on more than one field goal, but Drameka Griggs led all scorers with eight points thanks to a perfect 6-6 shooting from the charity stripe. The Sailfish displayed a collective offensive effort from six of its players with junior Selethia Jackson putting forth a solid showing of seven points, five rebounds, one block, and four steals in 19 minutes of action. Loren Wilkins and Poole contributed six points each, and sophomore Ashley Dolberry added five points and four rebounds off the bench in 11 minutes for the Fish.

The second half started much like the first one ended with the Lakers making short runs and the Sailfish answering right back. Jordan Kong’s long-range jumper at the 13:27 mark tied up the game just before PBA took its first lead since the first period with an “and-one” play from Jackson.

With less than 10 minutes to play, however, the Lakers exploded with an impressive offensive display, capitalizing on 15 points from Sailfish turnovers and 12-18 shooting through the close of the half. With a 34-9 run to polish off the final minutes, the Fish could not overcome the Laker lead which reached 27 at one point.  

The Lakers posted five different players with double figures as Tanisha Woodard took high honors on her 4-11 shooting for 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. PBA was led once again by Jackson, who led all scorers on the afternoon with 13 points (5-11) shooting, and just missed another double double with nine rebounds. Jackson also roped in five steals in 37 minutes. Close behind her was teammate Elizabeth Fugate who posted 10 points on 5-11 shooting before foul trouble sidelined the senior forward.

The Lakers registered 19-35 shooting in the second half (54 FG%) for a game total of 38%. The Fish surrendered the ball over 33 times this afternoon and were held to 10-25 shooting (40 FG%) in the second period for an overall 42 FG%.

The Sailfish (1-13) will travel back to West Palm Beach before turning right around to face a visiting South Florida rival in Lynn University on Wednesday, January 5th. The Fish will play host to their Sunshine State opponent in game one of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader, with the first matchup to take place at 5 pm in the Rubin Arena.

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