Robinson scores career-high 31 points as Lakers improve to 8-2 overall
The Laker tandem combined for 55 points, including 37 in the second half, as Clayton State pulled away with a convincing 81-66 victory over visiting St. Augustine’s at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The victory was the fourth straight and sixth in the last seven games for Clayton State, which improves to 8-2 heading into Saturday’s huge Peach Belt Conference showdown at home against eighth-ranked Augusta State.
St. Augustine’s, the defending Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) champion, falls to 1-4 overall.
The Lakers could not get on track early offensively, and St. Augustine’s cashed in the drought in the process. The Falcons used three B.J. Mullen 3-point baskets to take a 32-16 lead with seven minutes remaining. But Clayton State fought its way back with a 13-0 ruin over the next five minutes.
Robinson converted a breakaway dunk, followed by a lay-up by Michael Thorogood on a put-back. A lay-up by Robinson brought the Lakers to within three points 32-29 at the 2:25 mark.
Trailing by five points at halftime, Clayton State used a 16-0 run early in the second half to take control. Thorogood and Downs both scored in the lane, and two technical free throws by Downs gave the Lakers the lead for good, 41-40 at the 14:41 mark. The Lakers extended the lead to seven points on two straight 3-point baskets by Robinson.
Down the stretch, Robinson took over. The senior connected on a 3-point basket to give Clayton State a 59-49 lead with 8:30 remaining, and his jumper on the baseline at the 7:16 mark gave the Lakers a 61-51 lead.
St. Augustine’s never got closer than seven points from that moment on. Downs gave the Lakers a 73-60 lead with a driving lay-up with 2:49 remaining. Robinson’s lay-up made the Clayton State lead 75-62 at the 1:40 mark.
Robinson, the leading scorer in the Peach Belt Conference, hit for a career-high 31 points on a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line, while Downs scored 24 points on 10-for-11 shooting from the charity stripe. Downs also dished out eight assists, while sophomore forward Andrew Bachanov added eight points off the bench.
For the game, Clayton State shot 81 percent (26-for-32) from the free throw line, and held St. Augustine’s to only 37 percent shooting from the field. The Lakers also out-rebounded the Falcons 49-34.
For St. Augustine’s, Joel Kindred scored 18 points, followed by Mullen and Shaun Washum each with 12 points. Darrell Glass added 10 points for the Falcons.
The showdown between Clayton State and Augusta State is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Athletics and Fitness Center.