GREENWOOD, SC (December 11, 2021) – The Claflin Panthers (2-7) had a strong first half, but the team could not keep it going in a 65-48 road loss to the Lander Bearcats (5-4), Saturday afternoon. After playing the Bearcats to a 22-22 halftime tie, the Panthers were outscored 43-26 in the hard-fought loss.

As a team, the Panthers had a solid offensive attack in the game, but they could not quite keep up with some hot shooting late by the Bearcats. The Panthers shot 32.1% (17-of-53) for the game, but they were held to just five three-pointers for the game. Claflin graduate guard Romero Hill led the way for the team with 12 points in the game. Junior guard Allen Hatchett and freshman center Marquez Ray both led the Panthers’ rebounding efforts with six rebounds each.

Things looked good early for the Panthers as the team had an impressive first half of play. The team spent much of the half  with the lead. The Panthers jumped out to an early lead. A jumper from Ray with 10:12 left in the half tied the Panthers’ largest lead 12-7. However, the Panthers would see their lead slip away in the final minutes of the half. After falling behind, 19-22 with 2:27 left in the half, the Panthers got a three-pointer from freshman guard Richard Visitacion with ten seconds left in the half sent the Panthers into the locker room with a 22-22 tie.

The second half told a different story as the Panthers fell into an early deficit that the team could not overcome. Things got tough for the Panthers early in the half as the team was outscored 21-4 in the early portion of the half and fell behind by as many as 17 points, 43-26 with 12:01 left in the game.  The Panthers had an answer, though, as the team cut their deficit down to 11 points, 47-36, with 5:53 left to play. However, the Panthers could not find a way to get their offense going in the final minutes of the game as the team ended the game with the 65-48 loss.

With the loss, the Panthers fall to 2-7 on the season.