Bryson Dennis at Virginia State


ETTRICK, VA (January  15, 2024) – The Claflin Panthers (7-6, 4-1 CIAA) took a dramatic 82-75 overtime win over the Virginia State Trojans (8-9, 4-4 CIAA), Saturday afternoon. After falling behind in the final minutes of the game, a Dennis three-pointer with just seven seconds left in regulation tied the game before the Panthers rolled in overtime to claim the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) win.

Though the Panthers had a balanced overall attack to win the game, one performance stood out. Claflin senior guard Bryson Dennis scored a career-high 32 points, including the game-tying three-pointer in the final seconds of regulation. He led four Panthers in double-digit scoring as junior guard John Whitehead, III, scored 15 points with eight rebounds. Senior guard Jailen Williams added a near triple-double with 11 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists to lead the team to the win. Claflin junior forward Zion Obanla added 10 points with a blocked shot as well.

The game was the most exciting game of the season. After controlling most of the game, including taking a 34-28 halftime lead and going ahead by as many as 13 points, 45-32 with 16:19 left in the second half, the Panthers found themselves trailing, 68-64 in the final minute of the game. With just 16 second seconds remaining in regulation, the Panthers found themselves trailing, 71-68 with 16 seconds left before Dennis hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game, 71-71, with just seven seconds left to play. In the overtime period, the Panthers rolled to the win, outscoring the Trojans 11-4 to claim the 82-75 victory.

With the win, the Panthers improve to 7-6 overall and 4-1 in CIAA play. The team will return to action, Monday at the HBCU MLK Unity Invitational when they take on the Morris Hornets at the Bon Secours Arena. For more information on Panthers basketball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to

Winner Claflin 7-6,4-1 CIAA
Virginia State 8-9,4-4 CIAA