The Claflin women’s basketball team led after three quarters of play on Monday night, but in the end dropped a SIAC East Division home game to Clark Atlanta, 52-49, inside Tullis Arena.
The host Lady Panthers (13-11 overall, 9-5 in SIAC) had two scorers in double figures, including Jhanice Stokes with a double-double performance of 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Joy Okeke with 10 points.
But the visitors got a game-high 19 points from Marissa Mandledove and moved to 15-7 overall, 13-2 in leading the SIAC East.
The home team trailed 29-23 at the half, but outscored the visiting Lady Panthers, 15-3, in the third quarter to take a 38-32 lead entering the fourth quarter. But, Clark Atlanta outscored Claflin 20-11 in the final period to take the road win.
A key statistic was the visitors making as many 3-pointers as the home team attempted. Clark Atlanta made 6 of 19 attempts beyond the arc, including 3 made by Mandledove. Claflin, meanwhile, made just 2 of the 6 treys it attempted.
Clark Atlanta made 12 of 18 free throws, while Claflin made 11 of 17 from the charity stripe. The visitors also got 8 points and 8 rebounds from Courtney Hall.
Claflin attempted 14 more field goals than the visitors, but made only one more field goal, 18 to 17, than Clark Atlanta.
The one area Claflin had a major advantage was the category of bench points, where the home team collected 25 points from non-starters, while Clark Atlanta managed to get just 7 points from non-starters. Ashley Fields came off the bench to add 4 points, 4 steals, 3 assists and 5 rebounds for Claflin. Zakera Chadmon, another bench player, came on to add 4 points and 7 rebounds. Dominique Williams, a starter, added 9 points and 3 assists for Claflin.
Claflin has one last home game, against Benedict (Feb. 17), sandwiched between road games at Benedict (Feb. 10, live on ESPN3 at 1 p.m.) and at Paine (Feb. 19).