ORANGEBURG, SC (November 22, 2023) – The Claflin Panthers (2-0) had to hit some clutch free throws late to claim a 101-96 win over the University of Mount Olive Trojans (1-5), Tuesday evening. Claflin senior guard Daijohn Stewart had a career night with 28 points to claim the victory.
Once again, the Panthers utilized a balanced attack to claim the win. In addition to Stewart’s career night, the Panthers also had four more players to reach double-digit scoring. Claflin senior guard Bryson Dennis added 18 points while junior forward Damarius Wash added 17 points with seven rebounds. Junior guard John Whitehead, III, added 14 points with four rebounds while senior center Timothy McElroy added 10 points with seven rebounds. Junior forward Zion Obanla led the Panthers’ rebound efforts with eight in the game.
The Panthers took control of the game early and controlled much of the first half. However, the team was never able to go ahead by more than four points during half after a Wash dunk with 6:33 left in the half gave the team a 32-28 lead. The Panthers would cling to a 43-41 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Panthers surged ahead early, but the team had to fend off a furious comeback effort by the Trojans. A lay-up from Stewart with a 8:03 left to play gave the Panthers a 79-64 lead, their largest of the game. In the final minutes of the game, the Panthers’ lead dwindled down to just one point, 97-96 with 00:35 left to play. However, the Panthers would hit four of six free throws in the final seconds to claim the win.
With the win, the Panthers improve to 2-0. The team will break for the holiday before heading to Augusta, Georgia to take on the Augusta Jaguars. For more information on Panthers basketball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.