GREENWOOD, SC (December 7, 2023) – The Claflin Panthers (2-3) had some costly shooting struggles when the team took an 83-64 road loss to the Lander Bearcats (7-1), Wednesday afternoon. The Panthers had some solid efforts throughout the game, but the combination of offensive woes and a scorching hot Lander team proved to be too much for the Panthers to overcome in the loss.
As a team, the Panthers had a cold showing in the game. The team was held to shooting just 32.4% (23-of-71) from the floor, including shooting 35.7% (five-for-14) from the three-point line. The team did a solid job rebounding, pulling in 42 in the game. Claflin junior guard John Whitehead, III led the way for the team with 18 points and five rebounds. Junior forward Zion Obanla led the Panthers’ rebounding effort with six in the game to go along with 16 points and a block.
The Panthers had a strong showing early in the game with a strong first half, but some second half struggles proved costly in the loss. The Panthers looked good early, building a 33-24 lead after a pair of Whitehead, III, free throws with 5:03 left in the first half. However, the Panthers allowed a late Bearcat run that left the score tied 37-37 at halftime. In the second half, the Panthers were able to stay within a point of the Bearcats, 43-44, after an Obanla free throw with 15:26 left to play. Unfortunately, the Panthers would never get any closer as they allowed the Bearcats to heat up. Eventually, the Panthers fell behind by as many as 28 points before finishing the day with the 83-64 loss.
With the loss, the Panthers fall to 2-3. The team will open Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play when they host the Bowie State Bulldogs, Saturday. The game is set to be broadcast nationally on HBCUGo.
For more information on Panthers basketball, contact the Claflin University Office of Athletics Media Relations at (803) 535-5548 or log on to www.athletics.claflin.edu.