Lincoln (Pa.) University rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 2:48 minutes for a 73-72 win over Claflin University at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Complex, Saturday.
The loss evened Claflin's season at 9-9 overall and 5-4 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). The Panthers will now take to the road for two games, beginning Monday at Winston-Salem State University in a CIAA Southern Division matchup. The road trip will conclude at Benedict College of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference on Thursday
Brandon Davis and Rodney Prichard came off the bench to combine for 33 points in leading Claflin. Davis led the way with 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field with a pair of three-pointers. He had 10 points in the first half.
Prichard contributed 14 points, all coming in the second half, on 6-for-9 from the floor that included two three-pointers. Letrell West was the third player in double-figures for Claflin with 12 points, while Romero Hill tallied eight points for the Panthers.
Lincoln (Pa.), now 6-13 and 2-5, was led by Bernard Lightsey with a game-high 23 points followed by Zahrion Blue at 14 points. Deaquan Williams produced a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Lions, while Jordan Camper also added 12 points.
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In the second half, the Panthers used a 7-0 run in capturing the lead at 49-43 lead with 12:28 left. Claflin later increased the margin to an eight, 57-49, with 8:05 remaining on a three-point play by Noah Jenkins.
It appeared the Panthers were in good shape with 2:48 left and leading 68-61, but the Lions rallied to pull within 72-71 with 15 seconds remaining on a three-pointer.
Claflin had an opportunity at gaining a little breathing room, leading 72-71 with 14 seconds as Jailen Williams was fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one situation, leaving the door open for Lincoln (Pa.) as the Lions rebounded the missed free throw.
On Lincoln (Pa.)'s possession, Blue was fouled in the act of shooting with 7.9 seconds left. He promptly sank both free throws, putting the Lions ahead at 73-72.
A last second game-winning shot by West was off the mark, giving Lincoln (Pa.) the victory in both meetings this season.
In the first half, the two teams played to an 8-8 tie over the first 8-1/2 minutes. A basket by Markus Steveson put the Lions in front at 10-8 with 11:05 on the clock.
Claflin was able to stay within striking distance over the next nine minutes behind the shooting of Davis, who scored 10 of the Panthers 18 points during that span. Davis offensive outburst was highlighted by a pair of three-pointers. Claflin still trailed by a bucket at 28-26 with 1:50 showing on the clock.
The Panthers later tied the game 28-28 and took the lead at 30-28 in the last minutes of the half as Hill scored back-to-back basket for Claflin. The Lions tied the contest at 30-30 with 28 seconds remaining before intermission on a basket by Williams. That would also be the halftime score.