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The Claflin University men’s basketball team will hit the road for two games against Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division opponents.

First up for Claflin will be Central State University on Saturday in Wilberforce, Ohio, at 3 p.m. The road trip concludes Monday against Kentucky State University at 7:30 p.m.

The Panthers will enter the matchup with CSU riding an 11-game win streak for a 12-1 overall record. The victory total also includes a perfect 8-0 road record, of which four were against SIAC teams.

Claflin along with Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University sit atop of the East Division at 5-0.

In their last outing, the Panthers routed Spring Hill College 79-52 on (Dec. 16th) in Orangeburg.

Claflin, which is averaging 72 points as a team, is led offensively by Jaleel Charles with 15.8 points and Benjamin “Tre” Williams at 12.8 points.

The Lady Panthers also face Central State (1 p.m. Saturday) and Kentucky State (5:30 p.m. Monday).

The Central State game is importance for both teams in their respective divisions. The Lady Panthers currently hold down second place in the SIAC East at 4-1, a game behind an unbeaten Clark Atlanta, which is 5-0. Claflin is 7-6 overall.

The Lady Marauders of Central State lead the West Division with a 4-1 record and also own the best overall record in the SIAC at 9-3.

Joy Okeke leads Claflin offensively at 12.1 points per game. She is followed by two other Lady Panthers in double-figures, Dominique Williams with 11.2 points and Jhanice Stokes at 10.8 points. Stokes is second on the team in rebounding at 7.4 boards per contest.

Kentucky State is 2-10 overall and 2-3 in the SIAC.

S.C. State women on road

The South Carolina State Lady Bulldogs face Old Dominion in Norfolk, Virginia, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

S.C. State (4-5) fell Thursday to Charlotte 35-22.


Martin OKs Felder return to school

Frank Martin made the final update in the Rakym Felder saga Friday morning.

The South Carolina head coach told reporters via teleconference that Felder will return to school but not play after not attending the school over the fall semester.

“Rakym and I have gotten to a good place," Martin said. "My bosses and I have had that conversation and everyone is on board with him becoming a part of our school again starting here in January. That date has not been set.”

Martin said Felder, who was the Gamecocks' backup point guard last season, will not play this season and will have different steps he has to take before officially becoming a part of the team again.

There is potential for a redshirt this season as a redshirt sophomore.

The Gamecocks are 9-3 and will open SEC play Dec. 31 on the road against Ole Miss. The 8 p.m. game will be televised by ESPN2.


Clemson opens ACC play

CLEMSON – Clemson (11-1) will begin ACC play on Saturday vs. the 10-3 N.C. State Wolfpack.

Tipoff is 4:05 p.m. at Littlejohn Coliseum. TV is RSN.

Clemson is 52-101 all time against N.C. State, including 32-33 overall in Clemson in program history. The Tigers have won the past two meetings with the Wolfpack.

Donte Grantham eclipsed 1,000 career points last time out, becoming the 39th player in Clemson history to achieve that feat. Elijah Thomas is one of just five players nationally to shoot at least 60 percent and average at least 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.

The Tigers received 55 votes in this week’s AP Top 25 poll (ranked 27th). They received 45 votes in USA Today coaches poll.

Clemson’s RPI checks in at 20th nationally.

USC women face Texas A&M

COLUMBIA  — No. 4/5 South Carolina jumps into SEC action right out of the holiday break, hosting No. 22/21 Texas A&M on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Colonial Life Arena.

The Gamecocks (11-1) and Aggies (11-3) boast the top two scorers in the SEC, respectively, and two of the top three rebounders in the league. South Carolina has won its SEC opener each of the last four seasons.

South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson is averaging 24.5 ppg and Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter is scoring 20.1 ppg.  Wilson is ranked third in the league in rebounding (10.8 rpg). The Aggies’ Anriel Howard leads the SEC with 12.9 rebounds a game.

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