ELIZABETH CITY, NC- The Elizabeth City State Vikings staved off a late rally by Claflin University to defeat the Panthers 73-67 Thursday night at the RL Vaughan Center.
Down 68-61 with just under two minutes to go, the Panthers pressure defense caused back to back turnovers in the Viking backcourt and Claflin cashed out with two three pointers one by Adolph Caldwell the other by Arthur Talley. After ECSU’s next shot at the rim came up short, the Panthers fumbled away a chance to take the lead when Montel Williams committed a turnover in front of the Claflin bench with a minute left in regulation.
ECSU got some much needed breathing room with 54 seconds left when Miykael Faulcon drained a three pointer which was set up by an offense board by Darrell Ward.
After he was fouled on Claflin’s next basket attempt, Ward sank two free throws to seal ECSU’s seventh straight victory. Ward and Kyree Marshall led the Vikings in scoring with 17 points apiece.
Adolph Caldwell topped all scorers with 20 points in the setback for the Panthers who slip to 2-6 overall on the year.
The Panthers only lead of the night came on the first basket of the game, a jumper by Patrell Rogers at the 18:35 mark. The Vikings, who shot 53% for the game, led the rest of the way and held a 38-29 advantage at the intermission.
ECSU’s sweeps their season series with the Panthers having defeated Claflin 80-76 on December 2nd in Orangeburg, South Carolina.