The Lady Cougars took care of business in a big way with a convincing 76-61 win while the Cougars whittled an 18-point lead all the down to three, but fell to the Raiders by a final count of 80-67.
The Lady Cougars fell behind by as many as seven points early in the game, but turned up the pressure on the defensive end of the floor and quickly erased the deficit. Hannah Brown, Robyn Anthony, Jessica Harper and Chelsea Jones all took turns hitting a long three-pointer as the visitors went on a 20-12 run midway through the half to take the lead.
A nice driving layup from Harper with just under three minutes to play in the half put the Lady Cougars on top for good as they would hold a 37-30 halftime advantage.
Shanavian Woodland claimed the paint as her own to start the second half with three straight buckets as the Cleveland State lead moved into double figures. Jones hit another 3-pointer and Brown nailed her third of the game as the Lady Cougar lead went to its biggest margin at 18 points with nine minutes to play.
The Raiderettes cut the lead to 10 on a couple of different occassions, but each time the Lady Cougars answered as they notched their first conference win of the year.
“It was good to finally get a win in conference play, we played well for a full 40 minutes today and you see the outcome,” stated Lady Cougars coach Dan Lumpkin.
Woodland led the way for Cleveland State (6-10. 1-8) with 18 points, Harper added 12, Brown finished with 11 and Jones had 10. Kaylah Gibson and Shannon Parks led the Raiderettes with 11 points each while Kristina Stephens and Jill Herman had 10 apiece.
Raiders 80, Cougars 67
Travis Jones converted several nice driving layups and Keith Jones added an old fashioned three-point play as the Cougars held an early lead. The lead seesawed back and forth throughout the first half before the Cougars went ice cold from the floor and the home team got hot.
Cedric Clinkscales and Kinard Gadsen-Gilliard took the Raiders on their broad shoulders with many buckets each in the paint to help the home team finish the half on a 12-2 run and take a 39-27 halftime lead.
The Raiders flexed their sizable muscles in the paint to start the second half and pushed their lead to as many as 18 points midway through the second half. Nick Ross and Keith Johnson led a Cougar rally as both players got hot at the same time.
Ross hit a tri-fecta of threes and Johnson and Jones added several driving layups to the cause as thed visitors cut the lead to single digits. Another trey from Ross sliced the lead to only three points with two minutes to go, but that would be the end of the comeback as the Raiders were able to hit just enough free tosses to secure the win.
Ross led the Cougars (9-8, 3-6) with 21 points, Johnson added 12 and Jones finished with 17. Jon Maybank led all scorers for Roane State with 29 points, Cedric Clinkscales added 19 while Gadsden-Gilliard had 14.
Cleveland State will travel to Jackson State and Columbia State next Friday and Saturday.