ATLANTA -- Claflin University's Lady Panthers (6-21) won their first SIAC Women's Basketball Tournament game in the Coach Tiffany Tucker era.
The Lady Panthers on Tuesday night raced past the Lady Tigers of Stillman College (10-16) 82-62 in the first round of the tournament.
The Lady Panthers advance to the quarterfinal round Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Clark Atlanta in the Forbes Arena.
Claflin trailed early in the game, coming back to tie at 10 with 14:01 in the first half. From there, the Panthers built a 13-point lead at 39-26 and went into the break with an 11-point advantage, 39-28.
Hot shooting in the second half led to 43 Lady Panther points while the Lady Tigers were held to 34. Nine points was as close as the Lady Tigers got at 52-40 with 14:29 left in the game.
The Lady Panthers padded the lead to 17 points at 62-45 at the 8:31 mark. A 9-2 run by Stillman cut the Claflin lead to 13 points at 64-51 with 6:55 left.
After a Lady Panthers' timeout, Claflin went on a 12-0 run to forge ahead by 25 points, the largest lead of the game at 76-51 with 3:42 remaining.
“This is one of the most memorable moments in my coaching career, and I am just so proud of our team and the effort they gave for the entire 40 minutes tonight. I am also appreciative of our coaching staff, which helped develop tonight's game plan,” Tucker said. “We can celebrate tonight, but tomorrow we have to redirect our attention to Clark Atlanta on Thursday.”
Angel Mitchell led Stillman with 17 points. Andrea Moore and Desiree Wright scored 11 each.
Claflin's Talaya Robinson had a game-high 24 points. Brittani Goodwin had 17 and Alnessa Hickmon chipped in 14.