UNCP Drops PBC Opener At Clayton State
MORROW, Ga. – UNCP opened up Peach Belt Conference play on the road Saturday afternoon at Clayton State as the Black and Gold dropped its fifth-straight series game against the Lady Lakers, 81-50, at CSU’s Athletics and Fitness Center.
JaToya Kemp led UNCP (4-4, 0-1 PBC) with 13 points, while also bringing down six rebounds and picking off three steals against Clayton State. Briana Stanton also helped out the Black and Gold with eight points, a pair of rebounds and one blocked shot. The loss marked the third-straight loss in Peach Belt Conference openers for the Black and Gold and the worst PBC loss since UNCP’s meeting with Clayton State on Feb. 18, 2006, 65-29. The loss was the worst for the Lady Braves regardless of opponent since dropping a 75-43 decision at North Carolina Central on Jan. 2, 2007.
Clayton State (4-0, 1-0 PBC) had four players who pumped in double digits. Teshymia Tillman was the game’s leading scorer with 30 points while teammate Brittany Hall brought in 15 points. Clayton State’s Latonda Bruce and Tanisha Woodard each brought in 10 points. Tillman also brought down eight rebounds and Bruce found seven.
“Clayton State played extremely well and we obviously played poorly,” said UNCP head coach John Haskins. “We did not handle their pressure in the first half and, when we did break down the pressure, we did not make shots. However, we had a little left in us toward the end and were able to attack better in the last 10 minutes of the game.”
Coming out of halftime with a 23-point deficit, the Lady Braves tried as they might to chip away at the Lady Lakers’ lead with layups by Stanton and Talena Faison, but Clayton States’ momentum could not be handled and the Lady Lakers led by 45 midway through the second half, 70-25. UNCP turned up the heat to close out the game, taking a 20-2 run to get back in the game. The Lady Braves could not hold on, however, and Clayton State came back to put in a series of baskets before the buzzer.
Kemp took in the first basket of the game from a free throw and the visitors led by one. The basket spurred a back-and-forth affair between the Lady Lakers and the Lady Braves with UNCP holding its own until the 13-minute mark. Following the Lady Braves one-point lead, 11-10 at 13:49, the Lady Lakers applied the pressure to embark on a 30-6 run to close the first half.
UNCP will take on their next PBC foe, Lander (4-0, 0-0 PBC), on December 20 at home. The series is all tied up between the Black and Gold and the Bearcats, 17-17. The game against Lander is set to tip off at 3 p.m. in the English E. Jones Center.