RALEIGH, NC (December 18, 2021) – The Claflin Lady Panthers (1-9, 0-2) are steadily showing improvement, but the team came up just short in a 65-62 road loss to the Shaw Lady Bears (4-6, 1-1 CIAA). After trailing for much of the game, the Lady Panthers were able to tie the game in the final minutes, but the team could not quite pull out the win in the hard-fought loss.

The Lady Panthers continue to show improvement as the team put on one of their better overall performances in recent weeks. As a team, the Lady Panthers shot a solid 38.0% (27-of-71). Freshman guard Janelle Sample continues to show why she is one of the best freshmen in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) with a team-high 19 points in the game. Junior forward Breanna Price added 14 points with 12 rebounds in the game. Fellow junior forward Destiny Colemen added 13 points with eight rebounds.

It took a while for the Lady Panthers to get things going offensively, but some solid defense kept the game within reach. In the first quarter, the Lady Panthers kept the Lady Bears within reach for the entire period After allowing five unanswered points to start the game, the Lady Panthers pulled to within a ppint of the Lady Bears, 5-4 after a lay-up from Price with just over seven minutes left in the quarter. From there, the Lady Panthers didn’t allow the Lady Bears to go ahead by any more than six points before closing out the quarter trailing, 18-14. Once again, the Lady Panthers had a slow start to the quarter before staging a late comeback. The Lady Panthers fell behind, 28-16 near the midpoint of the quarter, but the team came back late to cut their deficit down to just seven points at the end of the quarter. A Price lay-up in the final seconds of the quarter left the Lady Panthers trailing, 37-30 at halftime.

The second half told a much different story, however. Early in the third quarter, the Lady Panthers allowed the Lady Bears to take control the game as they fell behind, 49-33. However, the Lady Panthers would begin their comeback effort late in the third quarter. The Lady Panthers cut their deficit down to just fie points, 51-45 after a 12-2 run that was capped by a Sample lay up. After allowing a Shaw lay-up, the Lady Panthers ended the quarter trailing, 53-45. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Panthers continued their great defensive effort and added some strong offense to their comeback effort. The Lady Pantehrs began their furious comeback effort early in the quarter as they continued to chip away at their deficit. The effort was completed when Sample hit a three-pointer at the 3:16 mark that tied the game, 62-62. However, some strong defense by both teams dominated the remainder of the game. Neither team managed a field goal in the final three minutes of the game, but Shaw was able to hit three free throws that sealed the 65-62 loss for the Lady Panthers.

With the loss, the Lady Panthers fall to 1-9 overall and 0-2 in CIAA play. The team will return to action, Monday when they remain on the road to take on the Virginia State Trojans.