Losing four players from their starting lineup, the Lady Patriots lost 80-72 to Clayton State University (Clayton State) on Feb. 9 at the annual cancer awareness Play 4 Kay game.
Leading the team with 22 points and 3 assists, senior forward Shaunice Fulmore was able to break through the tough defense from Clayton State and create offensive opportunities for her team.
Following closely behind Fulmore was forward Kiana Adderton with 19 points. Adderton tied the score in the third quarter with a pull-up shot.
“What I think I did best this game was when my team needed me I came through for them,” Adderton said.
The Lady Patriots’ overall record is 8-10 and their record is 3-5 in the Peach Belt Conference.
The team took a huge hit when the primary ball handler, point guard Abigail Bullock, injured her knee in the fourth quarter.
With a 76-percent free-throw shooting record, Bullock went to the line twice during the first quarter minimizing the point gap and giving the team more momentum.
“We came out with a lot of energy and we played really hard,” guard Brooke Dixon said.
The Lady Patriots adjusted to the aggressive defense of Clayton State near the end of the first quarter, scoring seven points in the last minute and 30 seconds, cutting a nine-point lead, and ending the quarter 14-19.
Center Tatyanna McClaney led the team with two offensive rebounds and six defensive rebounds. Following behind McClaney was forward Briana Burgins with four offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds.
The Lady Patriots came in strong in the second quarter, with Bullock draining a three-pointer to start the quarter off.
“I’m honestly really proud of my team,” Dixon said. “I know the outcome wasn’t what we expected, but we gave it our all.”
Adderton helped the team come back, bringing the score 43-42 in the third quarter with two free-throws.
The Lady Patriots were 20-of-34 for free-throws and the team got 35 rebounds.
Due to fouls, the Lady Patriots lost three players after the half time mark.
“It was disappointing whenever we saw three people foul out, but we will be ready for the next game,” Dixon said.
Having played Clayton State before, the Lady Patriots were aware of their defensive strategies and made their best efforts to apply pressure. However, the Lady Patriots were able to do better on the board with rebounds.
The Lady Patriots lost to Clayton State by 20 points in January but were able to cut the lead to only 8 points for this game.
“First and foremost I was proud of our effort,” head coach Jeri Porter said. “I thought that coming off of four straight losses it’s hard to stay confident and energetic and these kids have done a tremendous job.”
The Lady Patriots will play their next game on Feb. 16 during an away game against the University of North Georgia at 1:30 p.m.