ORANGEURG, SC (November 30, 2021) – The Claflin Lady Panthers (1-5) played some solid defense, but the team could not quite get their offense going in a hard-fought 68-53 loss to the USC-Aiken Pacers (3-3). Though the Lady Panthers had struggles during the game, the team showed some great potential in spots during the game.
As a team, the Lady Panthers had a hard time shooting the ball all game long in the loss. The team shot just 28.4% (19-for-67) in the game. Junior guard Jalah Horton and senior guard Dionna Long led the way for the Lady Panthers with eight points each while sophomore center LaTerrlyn LeShore added seven points with a team-high six rebounds.
The first half was especially tough for the Lady Panthers who got the game started on a down note. The first quarter was especially challenging for the Lady Panthers as the team totaled just five points. A Horton lay-up and a jumper from freshman guard Lauren Scott were the only two field goals of the quarter as the Lady Panthers ended the quarter with a 20-5 deficit. In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers came out with a much better effort and really displayed the potential that the team has. The Lady Panthers outscored the Pacers 18-16 during the period. The team opened the quarter in a big way with a 10-4 run that was capped by a pair of LeShore free throws with 7:21 left in the quarter that cut the team’s deficit to just nine points, 24-15. The Lady Panthers would not quite get any closer as the team went into halftime trailing, 36-23.
In the second half the Lady Panthers continued their strong play, but the team could not overcome their first half deficit. In the third quarter, the Lady Panthers put on another solid quarter as they held the Pacers to just 17 points while scoring 16 of their own. Early in quarter, the Lady Panthers allowed the Pacers to go ahead by as many as 20 points, but the team closed the quarter in a big way and closed the period with a lay-up from freshman center Brandi Rivers that sent the team trailing, 53-39. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Panthers came out with a great effort, cutting their deficit down to 12 points, 55-43 after a jumper from sophomore center Breanna Price with 7:34 left in the game. Things would get tough for the Lady Panthers as the team soon allowed the Pacers to go ahead, 65-45 before closing the game strong and finishing the game strong but finishing with the 68-53 loss.
With the loss, the Lady Panthers fall to 1-5 to open the season. The team will return to action, Saturday when they host the rival Benedict Lady Tigers in the inaugural Paws Up HBCU Classic.