Hannah Brown had the hot hand early for the home team, scoring six of the first 11 Cleveland State points, including a 3-point bomb and a driving layup to help her team to an 11-4 lead. The Lady Knights then went on a run to tie the game at 11, but the Lady Cougars responded as Mercedes Owens hit a long trey to help Cleveland State hold a small lead for most of the half.
West Georgia managed to slice the lead to only a two point deficit near the end of the half, but the Lady Cougars scored the final seven points. Diamond Freeman converted a tough layup and Shadave Taylor added an old fashioned three-point play to the cause to give Cleveland State a 41-32 advantage at the break.
After pouring in 17 points in the first half, Ciera Anderson again claimed the paint as her own to start the second half with eight quick points as the Cleveland State lead grew to double digits. Robyn Anthony and Shea Nunn added a layup each and Brown let fly with another long-range shot midway through the half to give the home team a 60-46 advantage.
Owens nailed another trey, Chelsea Jones converted a short jumper in the paint and Jara Gasper added a three-point play as the Lady Cougars cruised to their fifth win of the season. Cleveland State shot 53 percent from the floor in the second half and caused 28 turnovers while holding the Lady Knights to only 29 percent for the game.
"This was a good game going into the break; they are a rough and tough team and they pushed us," commented Lady Cougars coach Dan Lumpkin. "I liked our effort tonight. Especially the last eight or nine minutes of the game we really gained momentum. Free throws were big, we shot 75 percent and in a physical game like this one you have to hit those."
The Lady Cougars (5-3) hit 17 of their 20 free tosses in the first half and 28-of-37 for the game. Anderson paced the Lady Cougars with 28 points, Brown checked in with 15 points and Shadave Taylor added 12 points and six assists. Sharika Pennamon led West Georgia (1-8) with 19 points while Sha'ron Forte had 10.
COUGARS 125, LIONS 62
DAYTON — While the Lady Cougars were taking care of business on the home turf, the Cougars had no problems as they dominated the Bryan College junior varsity team across the river in Dayton.
Gabe Dando rained down 3-pointers all night long for the Cougars, nine in all, as the visitors sailed to a 60-23 halftime advantage and never looked back.
It was more of the same the rest of the way as the Cougars scored at will and coasted to their eighth win in eight tries. Travis Jones once again put up 31 points to lead the Cougars (8-0) while Dando and his nine 3’s were next with 29 points, Ralph Eason added 17 points, Jameico McPherson finished with 14 points, Kahan Swift had 11 and Trey Suttles 10. Hunter Chastain led Bryan College with 18 points.
After taking the weekend off for Thanksgiving, both Cleveland State teams will travel to Boaz, Ala., for a pair of tough nonconference games with Snead State on Tuesday.