Lander falls to Clayton State in Sweet Sixteen, 76-60
MORROW, Ga. – The No. 2 Clayton State women's basketball team used a 14-0 run midway through the second half to pull away from No. 6 Lander, 76-60, in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Tournament championship game Monday night at the Athletics and Fitness Center.
Top-seeded Clayton State (32-1) will advance to the Elite Eight to be held in St. Joseph, Mo., March 22-23 and 25. Second-seeded Lander ends it best season ever at 29-4.
Kayla Mobley led the Lakers with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-9 shots from the floor, including one three, and 4-of-5 free throws. Teshymia Tillman, the tournament MVP, added 19 points on 8-of-14 field goals, including 3-of-4 threes, 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 threes, 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 three pointer ignited a 14-0 run that gave Clayton a 63-45 cushion at 7:21. Tillman's three was followed by a Latonda Bruce three-point play, three more Tillman steals that she converted into layups, and two more Bruce free throws.
Lander closed the gap to 11 points at 70-59 with 1:30 left on a three-point play by McKever.
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 three by Tillman and a two 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 three 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 three 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.
For the game, Clayton State connected on 29-of-53 field goals for 54.7 percent, including 4-of-12 threes for 33.3 percent. The Lakers sank 14-of-18 free throws for 77.8 percent.
Lander made 23-of-54 floor shots for 42.6 percent, including 4-of-13 threes for 30.8 percent. The Lady Bearcats were 10-of-16 from the free throw line for 62.5 percent.