The Claflin University Panthers held off a late second-half rally from Winston-Salem State University in defeating the Rams, 60-53, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association men's basketball contest at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center (Tullis Arena) on Monday.
The win ended a four-game losing streak by Claflin, improving the Panthers' season record to 2-5 overall and 1-2 in the CIAA.
Letrell West led the Panthers in scoring with 12 points, followed by Devin Smith at 10 points.
Jailen Williams came off the bench to score nine points, while Nkem Ojeh and Rodney Prichard added eight points apiece.
WSSU, now 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the CIAA, was led by Jonathan Hicklin with a game-high 18 points.
After leading 21-15 at the half, the Panthers pushed their lead to 46-33 with 9:21 left on a basket from Ojeh.
Over the next eight minutes, WSSU pulled within seven points on three occasions. The Rams cut the Panthers' lead to five points at 58-53 with 26 seconds, but could get no closer.
The first half was a low-scoring affair for the first 17 minutes, knotting the contest at 12-12. The Panthers used three free throws, one coming as a result of a WSSU technical foul, to take a 15-12 lead at the 4:48 mark. Antonio Bussey had two of the Panthers free throws and West had the other.
Claflin increased its lead to 21-15 at the half by scoring six of the last nine points in the period.
Both teams had problems shooting from the field in the first half as the Panthers were 9-for-34 (26.5 percent) and WSSU managed just 6-for-23 (26.1 percent. Neither team made a three-point basket, as WSSU unsuccessful in eight attempts and while Claflin missed all its 10 shots.
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Claflin will travel to USC-Aiken on Wednesday before returning home to face Savannah State University on Friday.
WSSU women top
Claflin in CIAA play
Winston-Salem State University defeated Claflin University, 66-59, in a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association women’s basketball game on Monday at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center (Tullis Arena).
With the loss, Claflin remains winless at 0-7 overall and 0-3 in CIAA, while WSSU is 4-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
The Lady Panthers placed three players in double figures, with Dionna Long leading the way with 16 points, followed by Shakarri Mack at 15 points. Breanna Price rounded out double-digit scoring for Claflin, with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Dashia Jackson added nine points for Claflin.
The Lady Panthers held a 31-30 halftime lead but was outscored in the second-half 36-28 by WSSU.
In the first quarter, Claflin used the scoring of Shakarri Mack in taking a 13-10 lead. Mack scored seven of the Lady Panthers 13 points of the quarter.
The second quarter provided a little more scoring, as the two teams combined for 38 points. Long and Mack contributed 12 of the Lady Panthers' 18 points in the second quarter. Long scored seven, while Mack accounted for five points, giving her 12 for the half.
WSSU took the quarter by a 20-18 margin but trailed 31-30 at the half.
The Lady Panthers will return to action on the road for two conference games, at Lincoln University (Dec. 12) and Bowie State (Dec. 14).