Playing on house money
Lander heads to tournament with nothing to lose
Thursday, March 06, 2014 12:00 AM
There isn't a whole lot of evidence to suggest the Lander University women's basketball team has a shot to knock off Clayton State in tonight's first-round matchup of the Peach Belt Conference tournament.
Junior Kayla West dribbles down the court for the basket during a game against Flagler earlier this season.
(Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
The Bearcats, who take on the Lakers at 9 p.m. tonight in Columbus, Ga., just barely scraped their way into the tournament with a victory against Francis Marion on the final day of the regular season, and Clayton State — already boasting a 12-point victory against Lander earlier in the season — is the tournament's No. 1 seed.
That doesn't bother these Bearcats, though. In fact, they kind of like it that way.
"I told the players, 'Look, we're playing with house money at this point,'" coach Kevin Pederson said. "We were literally the last team to lock a spot up, so we've just told them (they've) got nothing to lose. We told them, 'Let's come in and let's be loose because we've been playing at a high level the last few weeks.'"
After a 75-61 loss to USC Aiken on Feb. 5 that marked Lander's sixth in a row and dropped it to 3-9 in PBC play, the Bearcats' chances of making the conference tournament appeared bleak.
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