PBC Tournament - Last-Second Heroics Lift Clayton State Past Lander 79-77 in Overtime

PBC Tournament - Last-Second Heroics Lift Clayton State Past Lander 79-77 in Overtime


AIKEN, S.C. – Jene’e Jemison converted a three-point play with 3.1 seconds left in overtime as West #2 seed Clayton State upset east top seed Lander 79-77 in the semifinals of the Peach Belt Conference basketball tournament presented by GEICO. Jemison’s play was the last in a wild overtime period that saw four lead changes and three ties after regulation ended with both teams at 68 points.

With the win, Clayon State returns to the PBC Championship game on Sunday where they will face either Francis Marion or GCSU at 2:00 pm.

In the overtime period, the score was tied at 75 when Lander’s Mukia Myrick hit two free throws with 9.8 seconds to play. Clayton State ran an inbounds play, but the ball was knocked away near midcourt with 8.7 to go. The Lakers inbounded again, this time to Tanisha Woodard, who drove to the basket and drew the defense to her before dishing across the lane to Jemison, who hit the layup and drew a foul from Lander’s Shannon McKever. Jemison, who made only one field goal in the game, then sank the free throw for the win.

Lander held a four-point lead at halftime and built it up to nine with 14:44 to play following a Ciara Lyons jumper. But Clayton State responded with a game-changing 25-2 run over the next six minutes that left the Bearcats down 14. Six different Lakers scored during the run as Lander was held scoreless for over five minutes.

The Bearcats broke the spell with two McKever free throws and a three-pointer by Jasmine Judge. Judge led the Bearcat comeback with three three-pointers in the final seven minutes of regulation, including one with 5:55 to play and her team down nine.

A Woodard layup with 1:20 to play gave the Lakers a 68-65 lead, but Brittni Johnson tied the game on the next Lander possession with a three-pointer. Clayton State then turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, leaving the Bearcats 20 seconds at the end of regulation, but they were unable to get a shot off.

Teshymia Tillman led all players with 20 points for Clayton State while Woodard added 18 and nine rebounds. Genesis Kelly came off the bench to score 10 while LaDe’Sha Stoudamire had seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Woodard added nine boards and led the team with six assists.

Mukia Myrick led Lander with 19 points and seven assists off the bench. Judge’s six three-pointers for the Bearcats were one off the PBC Tournament single-game record as she led the team with 18 points, hitting six of 12 from long range. McKever was held to 11 and five boards while Tasheba Butler had 10 points and seven rebounds.

The PBC Tournament championship game begins at 2:00 on Sunday from the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C.

PBC Women’s Semifinal #1 – Clayton State vs. Lander

Clayton State Head Coach Dennis Cox

“That was Peach Belt women’s basketball at its finest. It was like two heavyweights out there, delivering punch after punch. Whoever had the ball last was going to win.”

(On the last play): “We actually drew up a play for a three. I didn’t want to go to a second overtime because I didn’t think we had anything left. So, to get a three the hard way was a nice surprise for me. Tanisha just made an unbelievable play and Jene’e caught a tough pass and stayed strong, stuck it in, and made the free throw.”

Clayton State’s Tanisha Woodard
“In the first half, I couldn’t get any rhythm. Nothing was falling. My teammates were keeping us in the game because they don’t always need me to win. Second half, I just played stronger. My teammates were telling me that I needed to go to the hole stronger and finish stronger.”

(On the last play): “I was going to shoot it. But I saw both defenders come towards me while I was in the air, so I dished to Jene’e and she made the basket.”

Clayton State’s Teshymia Tillman
“The game was fast-paced, they were just running everywhere. I knew if we wanted to stay in the game that we had to play defense.”

“Nobody was negative, everybody was positive and we just kept picking each other up at the same time when the game kept just going back-and-forth, back-and-forth. This is crazy! But we stuck together.”

Lander Head Coach Kevin Pederson
“Clayton State is a very good team and they deserved to win. Their kids fought, they could have given up but they did not. I’m proud of our kids for fighting back from a 14-point deficit and coming all the way back.”

(On the final play in regulation): “My fear was we had struggling to inbounds the ball. They’re very long and we were worried about a turnover on the inbounds pass. We have a play we like to run in that situation and we had it called, but we didn’t want them to have the chance to get their defense set up.”