Dominique Gilbert's Double-Double Not Enough as No. 3 Clayton State Tames Lady Cougars
MORROW – The Columbus State women's basketball team led halfway through the first half on the road versus No. 3 Clayton State but was unable to hold on eventually falling 76-59 Wednesday night. CSU drops to 10-6 on the year and 3-4 in the Peach Belt while the Lady Lakers (18-0, 7-0) stay undefeated.
Dominique Gilbert opened the scoring in the contest with a layup on CSU's second possession to give the visitors the early 2-0 lead The two sides would go back and forth over the next few minutes as Clayton State took a 9-6 advantage with a Latonda Bruce jumper with five and a half minutes gone by in the opening half.
The Lady Cougars would then go on a 12-4 run capped off by a Marah Wright three-pointer at the 12:08 mark in the first period to give CSU their largest lead of the game, 18-13. Gilbert also added five points during that time, making both shot attempts and her lone free throw.
Clayton State clamped down defensively pressuring the visitors to miss their next five shots and force a turnover as they went on a 10-0 spurt to give them the lead (23-18) which they would not relinquish the rest of the game. Tanisha Woodward made one-of-two free throws for the hosts pushing their lead to 27-20 with 7:15 remaining in the first half.
Columbus State responded over the next two minutes cutting the deficit down to one point (27-26) after scoring six straight points. Lauren Matheney scored the first two buckets followed by a Wright layup with 5:29 to go in the half.
The Lady Lakers would close out the half outscoring CSU 13-5 to take a 40-31 lead into the beak.
Breanna Fort scored seven of Clayton State's first 14 points to begin the second half as they extended their lead to 19 points (54-35) at the 15:07 mark in the second half.
Columbus State made a quick push getting within 10 (56-46) with 12:27 to go in the game outscoring Clayton State 11-2 over the next two minutes and forty seconds. The two sides traded two free throws each before the Lady Cougars rattled off nine consecutive points. Wright and Marina DeFoor both hit three-pointers while Asha Alexander converted on a three-point play.
That would be as close as Columbus State would get the remainder of the game as Clayton State took their biggest lead of the game 75-55 with 3:24 to go in the game.
Gilbert had her second straight 20+ point contest as she led all scorers with 20 points and notched her sixth consecutive double-double as she pulled down a game high 17 rebounds. It is the second time in three games she has registered 17 rebounds in a game. Matheney hit double digits for the first time in a CSU uniform netting 13 points while Wright chipped in with 11 points. As a team, the Lady Cougars shot 36.4% (20-for-55) from the field and 68.2% from the free throw line (15-for-22). They held a slight rebound advantage, 44-43. For the 12th time this season, CSU has limited its opponents to under 40% shooting from the floor.
Clayton State also had three players hit double figures led by Kayla Mobley's 13 points while Teshymia Tillman and Drameka Driggs added 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Lady Lakers forced 26 turnovers which led to 28 points. They also received a great contribution from their bench as they scored 36 points.
Things don't get any easier for the Lady Cougars as they face off against top ranked Lander Thursday evening in Greenwood, SC. The Lady Bearcats will enter the game with a perfect 19-0 record. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m inside Horne Arena.