Downs scores 26 points as Lakers improve to 7-2 overall
Playing its first game since Dec. 4, the Lakers got a strong challenge from visiting Edward Waters, but held on for a 73-66 victory at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The victory is the third straight and sixth in the last seven games for the Lakers, who improve to 7-2 overall. Edward Waters slips to 3-10.
There were 10 lead-changes in the first half alone as the Tigers kept it close with six 3-point baskets. Two straight 3-point baskets by Johnny Nelson gave Edward Waters a 27-24 lead at the 9:04 mark. After Clayton State stretched its lead to four points twice, William Walter-Brown sank two straight 3-point baskets to pull the Tigers to within two points with 1:46 remaining.
Walter Brown then hit a baseline jump shot to tie the game 37-37 at the 1:04 mark. However, Clayton State got a big 3-point basket from Timmy Downs and a lay-up by Downs in the final 50 seconds to lead 42-37 at halftime.
The Lakers were able to stretch their lead to double-digits in the second half. Two free throws by Downs gave Clayton State a 54-44 lead with 14:07 remaining. Torrin Greene then nailed a 3-point basket, and a jump shot in transition by Brandon Robinson gave the Lakers their largest lead of the game 65-49 at the 9:48 mark.
A lay-up by center Armon Jones made the Clayton State lead 70-55 with 6:14 remaining. But that was the last field goal that the Lakers would make for the game. From that point, Edward Waters finished the game on an 11-3 run.
James Williams drained a 3-point basket at the 3:53 mark, and a turnaround jumper in the lane by Vanrossi Holder cut the Clayton State lead to 70-64 with 2:56 remaining. The closest the Tigers would cut the lead was five points, 71-66 on a driving lay-up by Walter-Brown with seven seconds remaining.
Downs scored 26 points to pace the Lakers on 10-for-13 shooting from the free throw line, while Robinson scored 17 points and sophomore forward Andrew Bachanov scored a season-high 12 points with seven rebounds. For the game, Clayton State shot 47 percent from the field, including 53 percent in the first half.
Walter-Brown scored 20 points for Edward Waters, followed by Nelson with 16 points and Holder added 10 points.
Clayton State is back in action on Thursday, playing host to St. Augustine’s at 7:30 p.m. at the Athletics and Fitness Center.