Orangeburg, S.C.—After battling from nine down with just over eight minutes remaining, the Claflin University men’s basketball team come up just short, falling by one 49-50, to Clayton State in a non-conference game in Tullis Arena.
The loss is the third straight for the Panthers who drop to 2-5 on the season.
Claflin scored the first two points of the game and stayed pretty even with Clayton State over the first six-plus minutes of the game.
The Lakers then took control of the game, scoring the next seven-of-nine points to take a seven point advantage, 8-15, with 11:15 remaining in the half.
Clayton State pushed its lead to nine, 12-21, before the Panthers turned up its aggression. Claflin used an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to four, 19-23, heading into intermission.
The Lakers picked up its intensity at the start of the second half, opening on a 5-1 run to push its lead back to nine, 20-29, at the 16:49 mark.
A layup by Claflin’s Darrius Dunston at the 15:33 mark sparked a 9-2 run to aid the Panthers in decreasing the margin to two, 29-31, with 12:48 remaining in the contest.
Clayton State scored the next two points, but a layup by Dunston followed by a three-pointer by Trevor Dunston at the 10:25 mark, gave Claflin its first lead since the 18:01 mark of the first half.
The Panthers lead was short-lived as a jumper by Kelsey Terry less than 15 seconds later gave the Lakers the one-point lead, 34-35.
The teams exchanged leads and the Panthers enjoyed its biggest lead of four, 49-45, with 2:08 remaining but Clayton State kept pressing.
The Lakers managed to connect on a layup with 10 seconds followed by a free-throw with five seconds remaining to secure the one point victory.
Despite the loss, the Panthers had two players to finish in double-figures led by Darrius Dunston, who came off the bench to score 14. Fare’al Walker, who had a well-balanced night, scored 10 points with a game-high eight rebounds.
Reginald Baptiste pulled in seven rebounds with two blocks for Claflin.
Jamil McKee scored 13 and Kelsey Terry scored 11 points to pace Clayton State, who improved to 7-1 on the season.
Richard Bell and William Asplund pulled in four rebounds to lead the Lakers on the boards.