Hunter Julius, Assistant Sports Information Director
GREENWOOD – The Lander men’s basketball team had four players score at least 18 points with two posting double-doubles as the Bearcats beat Clayton State 91-73 in a Peach Belt Conference game Saturday afternoon at Horne Arena.
Lander improved to 3-3 overall, evening its PBC record at 1-1.
The Lakers fell to 0-2 overall, 0-2 in the league.
The Bearcats built a 27-point lead late in the first half. But Clayton State got within eight inside the four-minute mark of the second half before a late run led by DaJuan Moorer helped Lander pull away.
Deon Berrien led Lander with 21 points while sharing team-high honors with 11 rebounds. Fifteen of Berrien’s points came in the second half.
Moorer added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Bearcats.
Sebastian Augustave contributed 18 points for Lander, making four of six from 3-point range.
Jermaine Patterson also scored 18 points for the Bearcats, leading the team with six assists.
Ricardo Saams Jr. paced Clayton State with 22 points and eight rebounds. Christoff Nairn added 18 points for the Lakers. The two scored 29 of their 40 points in the second half.
Justin Figueroa scored 11 points for Clayton State while Daniel Melvin added 10 points.
Lander built a quick double-digit lead when Moorer’s basket made it 13-2 with 14:50 left in the opening half. Patterson’s three-point play increased the Bearcat led to 17-4 with 13:13 to go.
Up 17-7, Lander scored the game’s next 13 points to make the score 30-7 inside the nine-minute mark. Patterson scored twice and added four free throws while Augustave made a 3 during the run.
After Clayton State scored five consecutive points, the Bearcats went on a 10-1 run for a 40-13 lead with 5:42 left. Augustave finished the run with a three-point play and a 3 from the left corner.
The Lakers closed the half on an 18-6 run as Lander led 46-31 at the break.
Clayton State’s comeback continued as Nairn’s layup pulled the visitors within 48-37 with 17:33 left. But Lander extended its lead to 54-37 at the 16-minute mark after Berrien made four consecutive free throws.
Berrien scored twice and Augustave made a reverse layup to increase the Bearcat advantage to 62-43 inside the 13-minute mark.
Nairn’s four-point play pulled Clayton State within 10 points at 77-67 with four minutes to go. Saams cut the Laker deficit into single digits at 77-69 with 3:35 left.
But the Bearcats answered. Augustave made a 3 from the top of the key, Moorer dunked off a pass from Patterson, and then LaRaymond Spivery found Moorer open for a layup and a 84-69 with 2:44 left.
Moorer dunked off an alley-oop pass from Spivery as Lander led 86-71 with 2:18 to go.
Lander’s next game is at 7:30 Wednesday, Jan. 13, versus Francis Marion at Horne Arena.