ORANGEBURG, SC (December 5, 2021) – There was no shortage of effort, but the Claflin Lady Panthers (1-6) could not overcome some late struggles in an 81-71 loss to the Benedict Lady Tigers (6-3), Saturday afternoon. The Lady Panthers kept things close throughout the game, but some fourth quarter struggles proved to be too much for the team to overcome in the loss.
The Lady Panthers took the loss despite some solid offensive play. As a team, the Lady Panthers shot a solid 44.4% (26-of-63) from the floor in the game. Freshman guard Janelle Sample led the way for the team with 15 points off the bench. Junior forward Destiny Coleman added 14 points for the Lady Panthers. Junior center Breanna Price led the Lady Panthers’ rebounding efforts with a team-high four rebounds.
The first half was a battle for the two teams with neither team giving up control of the game. In the first quarter, it was the Lady Panthers who looked to be in control of the game. The Lady Panthers grabbed the lead on a Sample lay-up with 4:27 left in the first quarter that gave the Lady Panthers an 11-10 lead. From there, the team closed the quarter with an 8-3 lead that was capped by a three-pointer from freshman forward Jali Tucker that gave the team a 19-14 lead heading into the second quarter. The second quarter told a different story as it was the Lady Panthers who had to fend off a hard-charging Benedict team. After going ahead by as many as seven points during the quarter, the Lady Panthers found themselves trailing, 33-31 with just under two minutes left in the quarter, the Lady Panthers finished the quarter with six straight points that was capped by a lay-up from Morgan Kelson with just seven seconds left to take a 38-33 lead at halftime time.
After a strong first half, the Lady Panthers could not quite maintain the effort through the second half. The Lady Panthers allowed the Lady Tigers to chip away at their lead early. The Lady Panthers’ lead disappeared midway through the quarter, but the Lady Panthers had an answer. After trailing by as many as six points, the Lady Panthers cut their deficit in half after a free throw from Sample with a second left gave the team a 57-54 deficit. Things got tough for the Lady Panthers in the fourth quarter, however, when the team was outscored 24-17 to seal the 81-71 loss.
With the loss, the Lady Panthers fall to 1-6 on the season. The Lady Panthers will hit the road for their next action when the team heads to Rock hill, S.C. to take on the NCAA Division I Winthrop Eagles.