WEST CHESTER, Pa. – The Claflin University men’s basketball team will open the 2019-20 season this weekend, Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9, at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association/Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Challenge.
Claflin and Lincoln University will represent the CIAA, while the PSAC will be represented by host West Chester University and Kutztown University.
The classic will consist of two games each day at the Hollinger Field House on the West Chester campus.
Action gets underway on Friday when Kutztown faces Lincoln at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Claflin/West Chester matchup at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Claflin battles Kutztown in the opener at 5:30 p.m. and Lincoln meets West Chester in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.
The two PSAC participants had winning records last season as West Chester finished at 22-9, losing to Indiana (Pennsylvania) in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional First Round, 74-65. Kutztown was 16-14.
As for the CIAA, Claflin finished the season at 13-14 and Lincoln was 14-15.
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The Panthers will be led this season by senior guard/forward Cornellius Reynolds, the top returning scorer at 7.9 points. Last season, Reynolds scored 19 points in Claflin’s opener against Nova Southeastern and ended the season with nine games in double figures. He also led the team in rebounds at 4.8 per game last season, pulling down a season-high of 13 against Bowie State University.
Another top returnee for Claflin is redshirt-junior guard Brandon Davis, who averaged 5.8 points last season. Over the last three games, Davis came off the bench to average in double-figures for the Panthers at 14.5 points. He scored a career-high 15 points on three separate occasions last season.
Leading the group of three-point shooters returning for Claflin are junior guard Romero Hill and Reynolds with 15 each and senior forward Rodney Prichard, Jr. with 14.
After the road trip, Claflin will make its first home appearance of the season on Wednesday, Nov. 13, against Augusta University, who are ranked 11th in the D2SIDA Men’s Basketball Preseason National Poll and a 2019 Southeast Regional Finalist. The contest is slated for 6 p.m. at Tullis Arena in the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center.
The Panthers will wrap up the early season homestand on Saturday, Nov. 16, with Fisk University for homecoming at 3:30 p.m. before hitting the road for their next six-of-eight contests.