Strong second half propels Clayton State past CSU, 100-70

COLUMBUS, Ga. – In its worst loss in more than three seasons, the Columbus State University men’s basketball team lost 100-70 to Clayton State Wednesday evening. The Peach Belt Conference game took place inside the Lumpkin Center.

It was the worst loss for the Cougars since Feb. 7, 2013 when CSU lost to Georgia Southwestern by 30.

“There isn’t much to say after a game like this,” commented head coach Robert Moore. “Clayton State came in and punched us in the face, so give them all the credit. We have to forget about this one in a hurry so it doesn’t affect us for two games.”

Columbus State (16-7, 9-7 PBC) started the game on the right foot jumping out to a 9-5 lead just two and a half minutes into the game. Ryan Burnett had seven of the first nine points to help jumpstart the game for the Cougars.

After the two sides exchanged buckets, the Lakers scored 15 unanswered points to go ahead 22-12 with 12:55 to play in the opening half.

Columbus State finally got back on track keeping it close before going on a run of its own. Down eight, the Cougars went on a 10-1 run to regain the lead at 31-30 with 6:22 on the clock. Darius Joell had four points, while Jamal McKee gave CSU the lead with a 3-pointer.

However, Clayton State (13-11, 8-7) closed the half strong by outscoring the Cougars 17-2 over the final six-plus minutes to take a 47-33 halftime lead.

Clayton State owned the second half outscoring CSU 53-37. The Lakers led by as many as 38 before the Cougars made it the final margin.

Arben Camaj had 15 to lead the way for Columbus State. Burnett had 13, while John Lambert added 12.

As a team, CSU shot 40 percent (26-for-65) and 34.8 percent (8-for-23) from three. Clayton State was hot shooting at a 53 percent (35-for-66) clip, while going 6-for-16 from 3.

Columbus State will be back in action Saturday taking on Montevallo on the road. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m.

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