Drameka Griggs scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half and finished with nine steals, seven assists and seven rebounds as the Lady Lakers defeated Flagler 78-58 at home Saturday afternoon.
“I think she is one of the best guards in the country,” Clayton State women’s basketball coach Dennis Cox said. “Definitely one of the fastest guards in the country. She just makes so many things happen. We are so much better when she plays like she did in the second half.”
Shannon Smith had 19 points, nine boards and four blocks for No. 4 Clayton State, which improved to 11-0 overall and 4-0 in the Peach Belt Conference.
Before improving to 5-0 all-time against the Lady Saints, CSU trailed by six points at the half due to 14 turnovers (six by Griggs) even though it held Flagler to 27 percent shooting.
“We got to understand that we are going to get our opponent’s ‘A’ game every night,” Cox said. “People are going to play their best against us. We have got to be ready to play. We were not ready to play at the start of this game.”
But the Lady Lakers stormed out of the locker room with seven quick points to turn the momentum in their favor. Then with the score tied at 41-41, Kayla Pryce nailed a 3-pointer to ignite a 26-6 run. During the surge, Griggs seemed to be racing from baseline to baseline for a layup after a steal on almost every play.
“Griggs just kicked it in,” Cox said. “We’re going to be as good as Drameka Griggs is. Once she got it going, we got it going.”
Arkia Armstrong scored 10 points and Kayla Mobley grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds, for Clayton State, which shot 65 percent in the second half, while holding the Lady Saints to 27 percent again.
“We take pride in our defense,” Cox said. “We are ranked second or third in the country in team defense.”
Shelbi Lindsey led Flagler with 16 points and four 3-pointers.
"She's a profilic shooter," Cox said. "When you are guarding her you got to be there when she catches it or there is a good chance she's going to score.
In the first half, the Lady Lakers led by as many as eight points before turnovers and fouls opened the door for a 36-30 Flagler advantage at intermission.
"I think we were guilty of taking our opponent lightly," Cox said. "We beat flagler 80-44 last year at Flagler. ...They really fought us hard tonight."
CSU visits Young Harris Thursday and hosts North Georgia on Saturday.