Shooting struggles hurt Clayton State men in 62-55 defeat at Armstrong

SAVANNAH, Ga. – January 21, 2012 – After enjoying one of its better shooting performances of the season on Thursday, the Clayton State Laker men's basketball team had its offensive struggles on Saturday as the Lakers dropped a 62-55 decision at Armstrong in Peach Belt Conference action.

The defeat drops the Lakers to 10-6 overall and 3-5 in the Peach Belt, while Armstrong improves to 9-9 overall and 5-5 in the Peach Belt.

Clayton State shot only 32 percent from the field and only 32 percent from 3-point range in the process. The Lakers' leading scorer Teondre Williams was limited to only seven points on a struggling 3-for-17 shooting from the field.

"I am so proud of the way our guys battled in a tough situation," said Clayton State head coach Gordon Gibbons. We didn't have the greatest possessions offensively, especially in the second half. But we battled hard and refused to quit."

Williams missed all but a couple of minutes in the first half with two quick fouls. Still, the Lakers stayed close with the Pirates.

Reco Lewis connected on a 3-point basket and a 14-foot jumper to give Clayton State an early three-point lead. Lewis answered with another 3-point basket, followed by another 3-point basket from the corner by Torrin Greene. A jumper in the lane by Tyrone Black gave the Lakers a 19-15 lead at the 8:43 mark.

However, Armstrong answered with a 9-0 run. Keyshore Williams drained a 3-point basket, and a lay-up by Chris Vanlandingham gave the Pirates a 20-19 lead with 8:12 remaining. Armstrong extended its lead to 24-19 on a jumper by Mychal Horn with 6:32 remaining.

The Lakers trimmed the Pirate lead to two points on a tip-in by Dukes at the 3:30 mark. But the Pirates extended the lead to seven points at halftime. Grant Domsic's 3-point basket gave Armstrong a 34-27 lead.

Clayton State managed only two field goals in the first five minutes as Armstrong built a double-digit lead. A 3-point play by Horn and a 3-point basket by Domsic gave the Pirates a 46-31 lead at the 14:58 mark. Horn's jumper with 12:58 remaining gave Armstrong a 50-35 lead.

But Clayton State rallied. A breakaway dunk off a turnover by Juron Dobbs trimmed the Pirate lead to 53-45 at the 9:15 mark. Lewis and Williams twice scored on lay-ups to cut the deficit to eight points, and then a 3-point basket by Tony Dukes cut the Pirate lead to 59-53 with 1:08 remaining. Clayton State cut the lead to four points on two free throws by Andrew Bachanov with 55 seconds remaining, but that was as close as the Lakers would get.

Lewis paced the Lakers with a career-high 15 points, while Bachanov scored 13 points. Clayton State out-rebounded Armstrong 44-37, and the Lakers had 19 offensive rebounds. For Armstrong, Vanlandingham scored 18 points, followed by Williams with a double-double (15 points and 14 rebounds). Horn scored 13 points for the Pirates.

Clayton State is at home on Wednesday, playing host to Lander at 7:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.

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