GAFFNEY - Joy Okeke scored a team-high 16 points in a losing effort on Wednesday as Limestone College defeated Claflin University, 55-39, in an NCAA Division II non-conference women’s basketball game.
The loss evened Claflin's season record at 6-6, while Limestone improved to 7-2.
Okeke, who was near-perfect from the free throw line going 7-of-8, also led the Lady Panthers on the boards with eight rebounds.
Jhanice Stokes was the only other player in double figures for Claflin with 11 points.
Limestone was led by Keidra Smith with a game-high 17 points and Jasmine Richardson with 11 points.
Limestone used 19 unanswered points early in the third quarter to break the contest open. Claflin scored the first basket of the quarter, only to see Limestone score the next 19 points en route to a 41-17 lead at 5:12 mark.
Okeke's three-pointer with 4:17 left in the quarter ended the scoring drought for Claflin as the Lady Panthers trailed 41-20. Limestone scored the last six points of the period to lead 47-20 heading into the fourth quarter of play.
The Lady Panthers made the contest a little closer late by outscoring Limestone 19-8 in the fourth quarter.
For the game, Claflin led just twice, 2-0 and 6-5 in the opening minutes. The Lady Panthers went scoreless in the last four minutes of the first quarter to trail 10-6 entering the second quarter.
In the second quarter, Limestone scored outscored Claflin 12-9 to lead 22-15 at the intermission.
Claflin will return to action Saturday (Dec. 16), playing host to Spring Hill College in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) contest at 1:30 p.m. inside the Tullis Arena.