MEAC honors SC State's Brown
NORFOLK, Va. — Howard senior Ayonna Williams and South Carolina State senior Taylor Brown were selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Women’s Basketball Co-Players of the Week.
Brown (F, 6-0, Sr., Paterson, N.J.) had a monster game against Charleston Southern, a game the Lady Bulldogs won in overtime. She recorded her first double-double of 2019-20 with 19 points and 15 rebounds, while also dishing out four assists. On top of going 7-for-14 from the floor and 5-for-7 from the free throw line, Brown also recorded a block and a steal in the victory.
Clemson men sign two
CLEMSON — Head Coach Brad Brownell and his staff added two players to the Clemson University men’s basketball program on Wednesday. P.J. Hall (Spartanburg/Dorman) and Olivier-Maxence Prosper (Montreal, Quebec, Canada/NBA Academy Latin America) both signed national letters of intent to play for the Tigers beginning in 2020-21.
The recruiting class ranks 31st nationally according to 247Sports. Also, according to 247Sports, Hall and Prosper rank as the No. 3 and No 4 all-time prospects based on ranking in Clemson history.
South Carolina tops Dayton
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Several of South Carolina’s players kicked up their heels in the pregame layup line when “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!” played over the public address system at University of Dayton Arena.
They danced, then they dominated. Especially the guard who grew up nearby.
Freshman Zia Cooke scored 27 points as South Carolina’s young, quick guards controlled the pace, and the sixth-ranked Gamecocks followed their big win at Maryland by dominating Dayton 75-49 on Wednesday night.
South Carolina (3-0) was coming off a 64-54 victory at then-No. 4 Maryland that represented an impressive early step for a young roster led by shot-blocking freshman Aliyah Boston. The Gamecocks’ backcourt and suffocating front line were too much for Dayton (2-1), which fell behind by 26 in the second quarter and never recovered.
Cooke, who was one of the nation’s top prep point guards at nearby Toledo, Ohio, went 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and had seven rebounds. Relatives and friends made the two-hour drive to watch her best game yet.
“It felt really good to see my family in the stands,” she said. “I heard a lot of people saying my name from every angle. It felt good to know people came from Toledo.
“That kind of had something to do with it. I was just on today.”
Boston has quickly become a focal point of the Gamecocks’ retooled roster — only two seniors from their team that reached the Sweet 16 last season. Boston had a triple-double in her first collegiate game and led the nation in blocked shots with 15 in her first two games.
While Boston and the rest of South Carolina’s front line dug in defensively, the Gamecocks’ guards led the way to another one-sided win. Boston had 11 points, two rebounds and one of South Carolina’s 10 blocks.
Coach Dawn Staley was pleased with Cooke’s performance — “I think we’ve got to inject a little Ohio in her every time we step on the floor” — but she’s hoping her guards develop a better sense of the offense as they get more experienced.
“Our guards are dynamic but at the same time, we don’t have that fluidity offensively that I would like,” Staley said. “It stalls at certain points in possessions. We’ve got to have more ball movement.”
Jenna Giacone scored 18 for Dayton, which shot only 22% from the field.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks’ physical front line has intimidated shooters. The Flyers missed 22 of their first 26 shots while falling behind by 26 points.
POINTS COME TOUGH
South Carolina is holding opponents to 24.6% shooting from the field.
South Carolina hosts Appalachian State on Sunday.
Augusta men top Claflin
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The Claflin University men’s basketball team fell to Augusta University 77-66 in their 2019-20 home-opener at the Jonas T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center (Tullis Arena) on Wednesday.
Augusta, ranked 13th in the latest D2SIDA Men’s Basketball National Poll, improved to 2-1 on the season with the road win.
Cornellius Reynolds led Claflin, now 1-2 on the young season, with a team-high 22 points and eight rebounds. Three other players scored in double-figures for the Panthers as Devin Smith had 12 points while Brandon Davis and Romero Hill contributed 12 points apiece.
Miguel Arnold of Augusta led all scorers with 23 points, while Rafael Monteiro added 17 points.
Augusta, a member of the Peach Belt Conference, used a 13-2 run late in the first half in gaining some breathing room in the contest. The run enabled the Jags to push a 24-18 lead at the 6:52 mark to 37-20 with 2:51 remaining before the intermission.
The Jaguars led 40-26 at the half.
The second half saw the visitors hold a 20-point lead on four separate occasions over the first 12 minutes of play, the last at 63-43 with eight minutes left in the game.
Claflin outscored Augusta 23-14 the rest of the way.
Shooting from the free throw line and three-pointers played a key role in the Panthers coming up short.
Claflin made 22-of-35 (62.9%) from the charity stripe and connected on just 4-of-12 (33.3%) beyond the three-point line.
The Panthers finished the game at 20-of-26 (43.5%) from the floor.
As for Augusta, the Jags hit 31-for-59 (52.5%) from the field, hitting seven three-pointers and were 8-of-15 (53.3%) at the free throws line.
Both teams had 11 turnovers.
Claflin will return to action on Saturday at home against Fisk University for homecoming at 3:30 p.m.
Anderson tops Claflin women
ANDERSON – The Claflin University women’s basketball team suffered a 67-42 season-opening loss to Anderson University, ranked 13th in the WBCA NCAA Division II Preseason National Poll, on Wednesday.
Dionna Long was the lone player in double figures for Claflin with 17 points along with seven steals. Tatyanna Hollins had seven points for the Lady Panthers, while Breanna Rice added six points.
Alexy Mollenhauer led the unbeaten Trojans, now 3-0, with a game-high 20 points and 14 rebounds
For the game, Claflin shot just 22 percent (13-for-59) from the field compared to 40 percent (22-for-60) for Anderson.
Anderson was a little more successful from three-point land than Claflin, connecting 10-of-25 (40%) while the Lady Panthers hit just 2-of-13 (15.4%).
Anderson also outrebounded Claflin by a 55-35 margin.
The Trojans led from start to finish in the game with its largest lead being 29 points at the end of the third quarter and mid-way the fourth.
Both teams won two quarters each as the Anderson claimed the first and third periods, scoring 20 and 25 points, respectively. The Trojans defense held the Lady Panthers to a combined 13 points in the two quarters.
In the second and fourth quarters, Claflin outscored Anderson by a combined 29-22 margin.
The Lady Panthers return to the hardwood on Saturday, hosting Stillman College for homecoming at the Jonas. T. Kennedy Health and Wellness Center (Tullis Arena) at 1:30 p.m.