Francis Marion Holds off Claflin, 73-71

claflin-logo.jpgOrangeburg, S.C. (Claflin SID) –The Francis Marion Patriots held off a tenacious Claflin University comeback in defeating the Panthers 73-71 in a non-conference men’s basketball contest Tuesday at the Tullis Arena.

With the loss, Claflin dropped to 0-1 on the season.

Sophomore Triston Thompson led three players in double figures for the Panthers with 16 points. Seniors Trevor Dantzler and Ryan McNeill-Moses came off the bench to score 11 and 10 points, respectively.

McNeill-Moses was the top rebounder for Claflin with seven.

Francis Marion, 1-2, was led in scoring by Detrek Browning with a game-high 22 points. Kenneth Jackson added 15 points.

Francis Marion led 53-41 with 13:19 left.

Claflin would rally in the closing seconds as Dantzler hit three free throws after being fouled while attempting a three-point shot with five seconds left. His free-throws pulled the Panthers to within one, 72-71.

Afterwards, Browning hit one-of-two free throws for Francis Marion for a 73-71 lead with 2.1 seconds remaining, but Claflin had one last opportunity. Thompson’s shot from near mid-court was off the mark as time expired.

In the first half, Claflin used the three-pointer as its main offensive attack. The weapon produced 24 points as the Panthers connected on eight in the half and 13 for the game. Thompson had four total for the game.

After Francis Marion scored the game’s first eight points, it was a three-pointer that put Claflin on the scoreboard.

It was another three-point basket, this time from Dantzler that pulled the Panthers even at 10-10 with 14:27 left in the half. Then two minutes later, junior Benjamin “Tre” Williams drilled a three-pointer that would give Claflin its first lead of the game at 13-12 with 12:34 showing on the clock.

The Panthers would maintain the lead for the next four minutes, leading by six points at 24-18 with 8:34 left.

Francis Marion tied the contest at 27-27 with 5:31 left as the result of a 9-3 run.

Claflin outscored Francis Marion 9-8 the rest of the way to hold a slim 36-35 lead at the intermission.

The Panthers will take to the road Thursday for a non-conference match up against Augusta University. The Panthers return to the confines of the Tullis Arena Saturday for homecoming against Fayetteville State at 3:30 p.m.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports