MILLERSVILLE, PA (November 14, 2021) – The Claflin Panthers (0-1) showed their trademark determination, but the effort was not quite enough when the team took a 77-72 overtime loss to the Clarion Golden Eagles on the first day of the Ron Wilson Classic hosted by Millersville University. After a slow start in the first half, the Panthers stormed back with a stellar second half to force overtime. However, in the end, the Panthers were outscored 9-4 in overtime to take the loss.
As a team, the Panthers combined a strong defensive effort with some impressive offense in the hard-fought loss. The team shot a solid 38.8% (26-of-67) from the floor including going 11-of-25 from the three-point line in the loss. Graduate guard Donnell Frayer, Jr. led the way for the Panthers with a team-high 27 points. Junior guard Allen Hatchett added 19 points while graduate guard Romero Hill rounded out the effort with 12 points.
It took a while for the Panthers to get things going as the team had some early first half struggles to open the game. Midway through the first half, the Panthers found themselves training, 9-17 with 10:39 left in the half. AS the half went on the Panthers found themselves trailing by as many as 12 points, 19-31 with just over a minute left in the half. In the end, the Panthers ended up taking a 36-24 deficit into the locker room at halftime.
The second half told a much different story as the Panthers stormed back to tie the game and forced overtime. The Panthers began chipping away at their deficit early as a pair of free throws from freshman center HowVante Hutcherson pulled the Panthers to with five points of the Golden Eagles, 44-49 with 11:20 left in the half. A pair of Frayer, Jr. three-pointers would give the Panthers a five point lead in the game, 61-56 with 5:21 left in regulation. From there, the Panthers went ahead by as many as eight points, 68-60 after a Hatchett jumper with 2:58 left in regulation. From there, it was the Panthers who had to fend off the comeback effort. In the final minutes, the Panthers allowed the Golden Eagles to tie the game, 68-68. The Panthers did get a scare as a technical foul in the final second of the game gave Clarion the opportunity to win the game in regulation, but the free throw was missed.
In the overtime period, the Panthers simply ran out of gas as the team managed just one made field goal in the period and totaled just four points. In the end, the team finished the day with the 77-72 loss.
With the loss, the Panthers fall to 0-1 to start the season.