ORANGEBURG, SC (November 19, 2022) – The Claflin University Panthers (2-0) celebrated their homecoming in grand fashion when the team took a 109-59 win over the Morris Hornets (0-4), Saturday afternoon. The Panthers used a dominating second half effort to pull away for the victory.
“Today’s game was a growth game for us. It was a learning experience for this group and myself with the first time having a homecoming game. We emjoyed the crowd and we appreciated everyone who came out,” Claflin men’s basketball head coach Brion Dunlap said. “We didn’t play up to par in the first half, but in the second half, we played like the team that we’re trying to be, and we will be moving forward.”
The Panthers finished the game with several impressive statistics. As a team, the Panthers shot a scorching hot 51.3% (41-of-80) from the floor with 13 three-pointers. Senior forward Shamarie McLeod led the way for the team with 16 points in the game. Junior guard Jailen Williams added 15 points with five rebounds. Freshman forward Camden Easley added 10 points in the game.
It took a while for the Panthers to get things going as they battled to take control of the game in the early going. The two teams played to an 8-8 tie before Morris would claim an 11-10 lead with 14:17 left in the first half. It was then that the Panthers took control of the game when a three-pointer from junior guard Bryson Dennis capped an 11-3 run and gave the Panthers a 21-14 lead with 11:03 left in the first half. The Panthers allowed the Hornets to cut their lead down to as few as four points, but the Panthers soon broke out with a 21-11 run to take a 20-point lead, 42-22, after a Williams lay-up with 1:53 left in the first half. From there, the Panthers took a 44-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The second half told a different tale as the Panthers dominated the period from beginning to end. After building a 31-point lead, 62-31, following a dunk from senior forward Shyim Cunningham with 15:32 left to play. From there, the Panthers wouldn’t allow the Hornets to get any closer than 25 points. The Panthers were especially impressive in the final minutes of the game as they closed the game on a 17-4 run that capped the 109-59 victory.
With the win, the Panthers open the season at 2-0 and with the 109 total points, the team put 100 points on the scoreboard for the first time since December 29, 2016. The Panthers will return to the road for their next action as they will head to Augusta, Georgia to take on Paine.
For more information on Panthers basketball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.