SAVANNAH, Ga. - Clayton State University overcame an eight-point deficit in the game's final minute to upend Armstrong State University, 81-78, in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action on Saturday evening at Alumni Arena.
The Lakers improve to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the Peach Belt with the win, while the Pirates fall to 6-9 overall and 1-5 in the league with the loss. Armstrong State returns to action on Monday, hosting Georgia Southwestern at 3:30 p.m. on the MLK Jr. Holiday.
The Pirates led, 40-39, at the break on freshman Corey Tillery's three-pointer with seven seconds left in the first half. Armstrong State then expanded that lead to 15, 67-52, on another three-pointer by Tillery with 10:36 left.
Clayton State cut the lead back to single digits and trailed by eight, 77-69, after the Pirates' Montrel Goldston hit a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left. Dantez Bennamon hit a three-pointer, then a turnover turned into another three-pointer by Christoff Nairn that made the score 77-75 with 37 seconds left.
Goldston made one of two free throws with 30 seconds left and the Lakers' Alfonso Davis was fouled on a putback attempt with 7.3 seconds left, making two to put the Lakers within one, 78-77. The Pirates tried a full-court length pass but it went out of bounds, and Kyle Kincey made a jumper in the lane with 3.2 seconds left to give the Lakers a 79-78 lead. Again the Pirates tried a full-court pass that went out of bounds, and Bennamon's free throws with 2.1 seconds left sealed the 81-78 win.
Tillery finished the game with 22 points to lead a quartet of Pirates in double figures, hitting 7-of-11 shots from the floor and 6-of-9 three-pointers. Denzel Council added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Goldston finished with 14 points and Kalen Clifton added 12 points.
Davis notched a double-double for the Lakers with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Nathan Powell, Nairn and Maurice White all added 10 points.