Sherika Parker said her Augusta State team doesn't dwell on the fact it was picked to finish 11th of 12 teams in a preseason conference coaches poll.
"We don't talk about it much," she said. "We know it isn't true."
The Lady Jaguars continued to defy their critics Wednesday night with an 84-79 win over No. 17 Clayton State at Christenberry Fieldhouse.
Augusta State built a 20-point halftime advantage and held on to extend its winning streak to six. The Lady Jaguars improved to 15-6 overall and 7-4 in the Peach Belt Conference.
Deo Ngulela posted a game-high 18 points with seven assists to lead Augusta State. Jasmine Godwin came off the bench for a season-high 17 points, while Brittany Jarrard added 14 and Parker 12.
Clayton State, the Peach Belt Conference and South Atlantic Region leader, lost for the third time in six outings. The Lady Lakers (18-4, 8-3) are now tied for the South Division lead with Columbus State and lead Georgia College & State and Augusta State by a game.
The Lady Jaguars jumped on Clayton State early, scoring the game's first eight points. They found easy baskets in their up-tempo offense en route to taking a 22-9 advantage. Ngulela later scored six points during a 13-2 run at the end of the half. The Jaguars led 46-26 at halftime.
"The first half, we were on a pretty good roll," Augusta State coach Greg Wilson said. "In the second half, we were a little scared."
The Lady Lakers got back on track in the second half with their perimeter game. Clayton State, which shot 7-for-11 from three-point range after halftime, went on a 23-8 run to trim the deficit to five.
"The situation was new to us," Ngulela said. "Usually when you're up 20, you tend to relax."
Augusta State watched its lead crumble to three before Parker scored on a putback. The Lady Jaguars had an answer every time Clayton State made a run.