SPORTS LIBRARY, Claflin, men's basketball

GAFFNEY – Benjamin “Tre” Williams hit three free throws in the final 45 seconds to lift the Claflin University Panthers past Limestone College, 70-67, in an NCAA Division II non-conference basketball game on Wednesday.

With its 10th straight win, Claflin improved to 11-1 on the season. The last time the Panthers suffered a loss was against the University of Montevallo 61-52 (Nov. 11) in the second game of the season.

The victory was also the Panthers' fifth straight over Limestone, which fell to 6-5.

Williams finished the game as the Panthers' leading scorer with 19 points and seven rebounds. He was also 6-of-7 from the free throw line.

The only other player in double figures for Claflin was Jordan Jones with 12 points, including a pair of three-point baskets.

Austin Lawton and Jaleel Charles contributed eight points each for the victors. Charles also led the Panthers with eight rebounds before fouling out with 2:57 left in the game.

Kenny Hairston led Limestone with a game-high 30 points.

It was a Williams’ three-pointer with 1:41 left in the game that broke a 64-64 tie. Hairston tied the contest (67-67) just 19 seconds later, with his eighth three-point basket of the game.

Williams later gave Claflin the lead for good, hitting a pair of free throws with 45 seconds for a 69-67 lead.

After Hairston missed a three-pointer, Williams rebounded the shot and was fouled with 17 seconds left.

 He hit 1 of 2 free three throws as Claflin held on and remained perfect on the road at 8-0.

The Panthers had to fight back from 11 down with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half, one that saw two ties and two lead changes. The Panthers took its first lead since the opening basket with just 55 seconds remaining in the half, 32-31.

Claflin will return to SIAC action Saturday at home against Spring Hill College. The contest will follow the women’s contest at approximately 3:30 p.m.

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