Carrollton, Ga. – November 24, 2005 – The first day of action at the Gulf South/Peach Belt Challenge featured two barnburners, with Columbus State besting Montevallo 64-57 in the opener and West Georgia overcoming Clayton State 77-72 in overtime.
West Georgia 77
Clayton State 72
The Braves and Lady Lakers fought tooth and nail through the first half, but UWG came out on top heading into the locker room with a 35-33 lead.
Clayton led for most of the second half, holding West Georgia at bay with a tenacious full-court pressure offense. The Lady Laker lead reached six twice in the second perieod, thanks largely to the play of Alecia Humphrey. The CCSU center had 11 points over the final 25 minutes to lead the Laker charge.
But UWG came back, not on the legs of Tai Ellis, but on the ferocity of Natasha Liggins and Yvonne Killings. The pair combined for 12 points over the crucial last seven minutes as the Braves outscored Clayton 14-9 over that stretch to force overtime.
In the overtime period, it was almost all Ellis, as the senior had seven points, all from the free-throw line as the Braves outraced the Lady Lakers 11-6 in the extra period.
The Braves had four players in double figures, led by Ellis with 24 and Liggins with 19. Killings added 13 points and Erica McCoy had her first double-double of the year with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
West Georgia improves to 3-1 on the year while handing Clayton its first loss of the season. The Lady Lakers are now 2-1.
Columbus State 64
In the early game Friday, Columbus State used a huge 49-25 advantage on the boards and held off a furious late Montevallo run to take the GSC/PBC Challenge opener 64-57.
The Cougars dominated the contest, holding the lead for 37 of the 40 minutes in the game. Paige Howard was the dominant player on the court, scorching the nets for 20 points on six-of-12 from beyond the arc in to lead all scorers.
Columbus is now 3-3 on the year while Montevallo falls to 3-2.
The Challenge finishes up tomorrow afternoon with Clayton State taking on Montevallo in the 1 p.m. game, followed by Columbus against West Georgia in the late contest.