AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Paine College basketball teams again went 1-1 against Claflin. Paine hosted Claflin on Feb. 17 with the men’s team securing the win and the Lady Lions falling this time around. The Lady Panthers (13-12, 9-6) defeated the Lady Lions (8-14, 5-7) 85-74 and the Lions (14-10, 9-5) beat the Panthers(9-17, 6-10) 79-67.
The Lady Lions entered the game looking to remain undefeated against Claflin this season following the team’s win in Orangeburg last month. Division II’s leading scorer and three-point shooter started the game in signature fashion with a three to give Paine the first points of the game. With 15:08 to play before halftime, Watts hit another three to again give the Purple and White a lead at 12-10. Paine held onto that lead for the remainder of the half and they took an eight point lead into the locker room.
In the second half, Watts opened with a layup to put the Lady Lions up by 10. Claflin began to slowly edge their way back and pulled to within one following an 8-0 run and a Karahn Scott layup with 14:26 to play. Tannasia Rhodes then hit a layup and Watts made one of two free throws to help bring their momentum back. With nine minutes to play, Claflin’s Jalisa Brown tied the game again with a free throw. Ariel Brown scored for Paine, but Claflin’s Jessica Brown returned with a layup to tie the game again at 63. From there, Jessica Brown made another layup and Claflin gained their first lead of the second half with 7:30 on the clock. The Lady Panthers held onto that lead and claimed the win.
Watts led the game in scoring with 36 points in her tenth game of the season with 30 or more points. The junior guard also had four assists. Brown turned in her eighth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The senior also had four steals.
Paine shot 44 percent from the field, 32 percent from behind the arc and 86 percent from the free throw line. Claflin shot 51 percent from the field, 50 percent from behind the arc and 71 percent from the line. The Lady Panthers were led by Uniqua Mitchell who had 20 points.
The men’s team has now won six of their last seven games as they hope to finish out the regular season on a winning streak. The first few minutes of the game proved to be an equal, back-and-forth contest before Paine went on an 11-0 run giving them an 18-8 lead following a jumper by Toby Veal 13:46 before halftime. Claflin struggled to get the game back and Paine led by as much as 16 before settling into a 12-point lead at halftime with the scoreboard reading 47-35. The Lions shot an impressive 69 percent from the field and 75 percent from behind the arc in the first half.
After halftime, Claflin’s Adolph Caldwell scored quickly with a layup to bring the Panthers to within 10. Paine continued to play well-rounded basketball and they outrebounded Claflin 36-27. They led by as much as 17 and kept a double digit lead for the majority of the half. In the end, the Purple and White exacted revenge over the Panthers following the heartbreaking loss to them in Orangeburg.
Kedric Taylor had his fifth double-double of the season with 12 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. Kenny Fluellen led the team in scoring with 14 points. Adrian Caldwell and Jordan Warner both had 11 points. Freshman Alfonso Davis led the game in rebounds with eight to accompany his nine points.
The Lions shot 58 percent from the field, 46 percent from behind the arc and 54 percent from the line. The Panthers shot 43 percent from the field, 28 percent from behind the arc and 67 percent from the free throw line. They were led by Adolph Caldwell who had 15 points and five rebounds.
Paine hosts rival Benedict on Feb. 22 for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness game. The Lady Lions play at 1 p.m. and the men's game is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Department of Athletics will honor 64 student-athletes who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA during the Fall 2013 semester during halftime of the men’s game.