Panthers move to 10-1 on the season, remain undefeated in conference
A three-pointer by junior guard Jamal Pollydore gave the Clark Atlanta Panthers a 69-59 advantage over the visiting Central State Marauders with less than five minutes to play on Saturday evening. The Panthers came into the game on a four-game win streak and would add to it with a 71-68 victory but not without a few fireworks. Central State senior guard Davone Daniels, who would score a game-high 23 points (6-11 on three-pointers), would help his team come from behind with a number of baskets, none more important than the four-point play he converted with less than 20 seconds remaining in the game brought the Marauders within three points. With the score 71-68 two missed free throws by Pollydore and junior guard Shelvick Henry, Jr. gave Central State a shot at tying the game with 5.7 seconds remaining. A last ditch three shot, ironically not by Daniels, failed to connect for the Marauders.
Clark Atlanta and head coach Darrell Walker owe the second half comeback-more on that later- to their full court press defense and the play of Pollydore (18 points) and fellow junior Austin Donaldson (15 points), who both along with Henry, Jr. took the bulk of the ball handling duties and defensive assignments. The only other Central State player in double-figures at the game’s end was forward Chris Scott with 16 points. During the first half the Marauders were 8-16 from three, during the second half they were only 5-18 from distance. Clark Atlanta didn’t shoot much better from either the field or from three during either half. The Panthers shot less than 40 percent from the field for the game and less than 22 percent from three for the game. It was the defensive pressure that allowed the Panthers to come back from a nine point halftime deficit. Donaldson had four of team’s five steals, all during the second half.
After leading 17-12 early in the game, Clark Atlanta allowed Central State to go on a 16-0 run from that point to go ahead 28-17. The Marauders (3-2 in SIAC) would not relinquish their lead until Pollydore scored on a drive to the basket to put Clark Atlanta ahead 55-54 near the 10 minute mark of the second half.
Clark Atlanta senior forward Akil Douglas added 13 points and 11 rebounds and junior Jalen Mitchell, who had rough time shooting during the first half, found a way to contribute in other ways with nine rebounds to go along with 10 rebounds (4 offensive). Senior forward Damien Davis (2-10 FG) added eight rebounds to go with his six points.
The Panthers (10-1 overall, 4-0 in SIAC) will host Kentucky State on Monday night.
Lady Panthers climb back, win 85-81 to get back over .500, remain undefeated in conference
The Panthers defeated the Central State Lady Marauders 85-81 on Saturday afternoon. Despite only having nine healthy players Clark Atlanta first-year head coach Yolanda Moore felt her team made the most out of what was a tough game. “Considering the fact that we were down three or four players, I’m proud of the way we came back,” said Moore after the game. “There are still many things we need to work on.” Moore listed boxing out on the defensive side as one of those things. Clark Atlanta out rebounded Central State 44-36.
A three-point basket by senior Lauren Turner at the 3:50 mark of the second half gave the Panthers a 77-71 advantage, their largest of the game. Clark had been behind throughout the first half; down 20-13 after the first quarter and by 11 points at halftime to the Marauders, who came into this game on an eight-game win streak and with an unblemished conference record.
Clark Atlanta figured it out after shooting 35 percent from the field during the first half and not making a three-point field goal in four attempts. The Panthers, now a game over .500 with a 6-5 record and more importantly 4-0 in conference, were 17-31 from the field during the second half and even made a few three-pointers to boot (4-7). Freshman guard Naomi Holloway had a game-high 27 points, 14 of which came from the free-throw line (14-18). Holloway continuously had her hands on the ball late in the game and made the majority of her trips to the line count. Turner finished with a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds, fellow senior Marissa Mandeldove had a team-high eight assists and 13 points before fouling out. Sophomore forward Courtney Hall, who also fouled out, scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds.
The Panthers will also host Kentucky State on Monday, tip-off is scheduled at 6 p.m.