110819 2019-20 Claflin Team Photo

The 2019-20 Claflin University men's basketball team

Homecoming is always special on the Claflin University campus.

CLAFLIN BASKETBALL: Panthers picked 5th, Lady Panthers 10th in CIAA

The Claflin men’s basketball team will try to extend its seven-game homecoming winning streak when the Panthers host Fisk University on Saturday. The contest will follow the women’s game against Stillman College at approximately 3:30 p.m. inside the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center (Tullis Arena).

Last year, Claflin rolled past Tuskegee University of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference 64-52 for homecoming. In the game, Brandon Davis came off the bench to score 15 points that included 7-of-8 from the free throw line.

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The last disappointing homecoming outcome for the Panthers came during the 2011-12 season at the hand of Paine College 70-61.

Claflin will enter this year’s match with Fisk at 1-2 following a 77-66 loss to Augusta University in the home-opener.

Cornellius Reynolds tallied 23 point, including 7-of-12 from the field, and nine rebounds in the loss for Claflin. Reynolds is one of three Panthers averaging in double-figures at 13.0 points, along with a team-high 9.0 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Letrell West, who fired in 33 points against Kutztown University on opening weekend, leads Claflin in scoring at 16.7 points, including seven three-pointers. West is shooting 58.6% (17-of-29) from the field.

The other double-figure scorer for the Panthers is Davis, who’s averaging 10.3 points. He has scored in double-digits the last two games. Romero Hill is near the double-figure mark for Claflin at 9.0 points.

As a team, the Panthers are averaging 74 points per game offensively with an early season-high of 94 points in the win over Kutztown.

Fisk, a member of the Association Independent Institutions, is 2-5 on the season following a 91-78 loss to an undefeated Tougaloo (Miss) team the last week. The two victories for Fisk came over Cumberland University (84-79) and Morris College (102-69).

Lady Panthers

The Lady Panthers will face a familiar opponent in this year’s homecoming game, battling Stillman College at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Claflin, 0-1, has won three straight homecoming games and five of the last six. The lone defeat for the Lady Panthers during that span was a 59-51 decision to Florida Tech.

Last year, Claflin posted a 77-71 win over Anderson University, a team that defeated the Lady Panthers 67-42 in their 2019-20 season-opener on Wednesday (Nov. 13).

Dionna Long had 17 points and seven assists in Wednesday’s loss.

This will be the 15th meeting between Claflin and Stillman since the Lady Panthers joined the NCAA Division II ranks. Stillman holds a 9-5 advantage. The last meeting came during the 2014-15 season when both teams held membership in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Stillman won the contest, 64-55, extending its winning streak over Claflin at three.

The last win for the Lady Panthers against Stillman came during the 2012 SIAC Tournament Championship, when Claflin won 82-62.

Both teams have departed the SIAC as Claflin moved into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Stillman moved down to the NAIA ranks and joined the Southern State Athletic Conference.

Stillman was winless on the season heading into Thursday’s game at area foe Voorhees College in Denmark. Stillman suffered loses to Rust College, 75-49, and Xavier University (La.) 64-57 in overtime.

Stillman is led by the trio of Zikira Williams, De’Asia Marsh and Zaria Jenkins.

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