AASU drops two

Chris Vanlandingham
Chris Vanlandingham

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The Clayton State men's basketball team made four three-pointers in the final seven minutes, overcoming a nine-point deficit and earning a 61-57 Peach Belt Conference victory over host Armstrong Atlantic State University on Wednesday evening in Savannah.

The Pirates (11-6, 5-4 PBC) saw their three-game league winning streak come to a close, while Clayton State (14-5, 5-3 PBC) won its second straight contest.

Armstrong led by nine, 48-39, on a pair of Chris Vanlandingham free throws with 9:23 remaining in the game, but Clayton State climbed back into the game thanks to a pair of long-distance three-pointers from Torrin Greene, the second bringing the Lakers to within one, 50-49, with five minutes left.

"In our previous games, we've been struggling on the defensive end, but in this game we had struggles offensively," Armstrong head men's basketball coach Jeremy Luther said. "When you hold a team to 61 points and we've been averaging 79, you've got to realize that we just need to take advantage of our opportunities."

Vanlandingham led all scorers on the night for the Pirates with 23 points, including 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Wheeler added nine points, eight rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocked shots.

"Our focus was to take Downs and Robinson out of the game. We were able to keep them in check, but down the stretch their players made plays," Luther said. "Good teams in good leagues make shots and get stops when they need them. We weren't able to do that when we needed it tonight."

Armstrong hit just 7-of-30 shots from the floor in the second half (23.3 percent) while Clayton State made 15-of-26 shots from the floor (57.7 percent) after intermission.

SAVANNAH, Ga. - The No. 2-ranked Clayton State women's basketball team used a 24-4 stretch from the end of the first half through the beginning of the second half to remain perfect on the 2010-11 season with an 87-65 Peach Belt Conference victory over host Armstrong Atlantic State University on Wednesday evening in Savannah.

With the win, the Lady Lakers (19-0, 8-0 PBC) remain on a collision course with fellow undefeated PBC school and top-ranked Lander as both teams are still unbeaten on the season. Armstrong (7-10, 3-6 PBC) suffered its fifth straight loss with the setback.

The two teams played a nip-and-tuck first half that saw Armstrong within one point of the No. 2-ranked team in the nation with 1:52 left in the first half - a Morgan Mitchell layup made the score 34-33. But the Lady Lakers closed the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 10-point halftime lead, 43-33.

In the second half, Clayton State sprinted out to a 21-point lead by opening the half on a 15-4 run, making the score 58-37 with 15:30 left on a Kayla Mobley layup, and the Lady Lakers held Armstrong at arm's length the rest of the way for the 22-point victory.

"We just let it get out of hand," Armstrong head women's basketball coach Matt Schmidt said. "Clayton goes up by six and we turn the ball over; goes to eight, then ten just like that. It was a big part of the game."

"I feel the thing we have to take away from this game is about our effort and how hard you need to play in order to be competitive in the Peach Belt," Schmidt said. "Our effort and energy were there. Even though we got beat, I'm still proud of that effort."

The Lady Lakers recorded 24 steals in the game and had a huge 38-2 edge in points off of turnovers. Armstrong committed a season-high 34 turnovers in the loss.