AIKEN, S.C. – The 21st-ranked
Clayton State University women’s basketball team (24-6)
captured the 2010 Peach Belt Conference Tournament Championship
with a 94-75 victory over 17th-ranked Francis Marion University
(26-4). Tournament Most Valuable Player Teshymia Tillman led the
Lakers with 34 points and 15 rebounds. She tied the PBC Tournament
record for most field goals made in a game with 14.
The championship is the Lakers first since 2007 and third overall. The Lakers defeated Columbus State 83-76 in overtime in 2005 and 50-43 in 2007 to capture their two previous championships.
Tanisha Woodard also picked up a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Genesis Kelly scored 13 points and dished out five assists. The final Laker in double-figures was Lesheria Stevens who scored 12 points.
Nicole Mealing led the Patriots with 17 points. Shannon Singleton-Bates had 14 while Eboni Fields chipped in 13. The final Patriot in double figures was Shana Franks with 10 points. Precious Tucker led the team with 10 rebounds,
FMU shot just 32.4 percent from the field while CSU shot 50.7 percent. The Lakers also won the rebound battle out-rebounding the Patriots 48-45.
The 94 points scored by the Lakers was the most points scored in a PBC Championship game.
For the second time in two days the Patriots entered halftime trailing despite coming into the tournament with only four games in which they had trailed at halftime. The Lakers used a 19-4 run just two minutes into the game to take a 25-9 lead with 11:25 left in the game. The run was capped off by a Jemison jumper assisted by Tillman. CSU pushed that lead up to 22 points but a late run by the Patriots cut their advantage to just five at halftime.
Down 40-18 with 6:58 left in the half the Patriots went on a 21-4 run to cut the Lakers lead to just five with 1:57 left. CSU answered with five-straight points but FMU had the answer with five-straight of their own as the half ended with CSU up 49-44.
The Lakers opened up the second half with a 15-4 run that gave them a 16-point lead and they never looked back. CSU continued to lead by double-digits the rest of the way pushing their lead to as much as 20. The game ended with the Lakers on top 94-75.
Tasheba Butler, Lander
Chimere Jordan, GCSU
Nicole Mealing, Francis Marion
Shana Franks, Francis Marion
Tanisha Woodard, Clayton State
Most Valuable Player: Teshymia Tillman, Clayton State
PBC Women’s Tournament Championship –
Clayton State vs. Francis Marion
Clayton State Head Coach Dennis Cox
“For us to control that game the way we did, I’m still a little bit in awe of our kids. We just had a resolve about us today and I’m impressed by the way we hung together.”
“Because of the way we’ve been playing, that’s why I believed (in us). Not because of anything done in the past.”
“They’re so explosive, that you know no lead is safe. It felt like a one-point game the whole game to us. Because that’s how much respect we have for them. They cut the lead down to five, quickly, just before half and even though we were frustrated with that at halftime, it may have been a blessing in disguise because it showed us that it can happen again. We did a better job of staying focused.”
(On playing in the NCAA Regional): “We believe in the things we’re doing defensively and have a fell for each other now.”
Clayton State’s Teshymia Tillman
“With everybody behind me, I had to be a leader.”
“There wasn’t a time we didn’t fight for a loose ball. Everybody, everywhere was playing; it was amazing.”
“I was a little nervous, and I’m never nervous before a game. But I had other people stepping up and making big plays. Everybody that came off the bench played, there was no backing down. It wasn’t about me, at all, it was my teammates getting me involved.”
Clayton State’s Tanisha Woodard
“When you play great teams you know that if you don’t play well, you’re going to lose. You always have to be at your highest level just to stay in competition with them.”
“Today’s game had nothing to do with yesterday’s game (against Lander). We’d probably lose to Francis Marion if we were still celebrating that. We had this same road trip not too long ago; at FMU and Lander, and we wanted to fix our mistake from that one.”
FMU Head Coach Heather Macy
“The kids showed a lot of resolve in making that run and getting ourselves back into the basketball game. Clayton State is a great team and very experienced.”
“I think our tempos are very similar. They did an amazing job on the boards. I know it shows just a three-rebound differential, but it sure didn’t feel like that during the game.”
(On playing in the NCAA Tournament): “You can’t trip on anything that’s behind you. We have to regroup and make sure this is behind us. We’re a really competitive group, so they take every loss really tough. Some of them haven’t even experienced double-digit losses in their career at Francis Marion, so losses are incredibly tough. We’ll need to prepare both physically and mentally for the regional.”