By RIVER WASHINGTON
It’s no secret that the Claflin-Benedict rivalry is known throughout the SIAC as nothing short of a big deal.
Students, alumni, faculty and school staff attended the games on Feb. 3 in Columbia, and they lived up to the name “rivalry.”
It began with the Lady Panthers falling short 76-73 in overtime. With the crowd against them, the Lady Panthers had a hard time making layups and were outrebounded at a critical part of the game.
Claflin’s Lady Panthers were outscored 24-11 on second-chance points and the Lady Tigers had a 42-29 advantage on rebounding.
Karahn Scott led the Lady Panthers with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
With the Lady Panthers starting off a disappointing double-header, the Panthers followed.
The Tigers ran over the Panthers with a 70-58 defeat with a packed crowd watching every play. Claflin, now 6-6 in the conference, tried its best to keep with the Tigers but fell short consistently.
With around 8 minutes left to play, Claflin’s Marcellus Dunn scored a layup that cut the lead to 56-49, however, with a 3-pointer by Benedict’s Justin People, that was all she wrote and the Panthers could not catch up.
Kendall Jackson led the Panthers with 17 points, with Marcellus Dunn and Jarrod Denard both having 15.
Claflin does have an opportunity to play the rival Benedict Tigers again on February 20, which is also senior night. Hopefully, this time, the games will be in the favor of the Panthers and Lady Panthers.