RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 8) – Mel’Quan Ames (Jr./Weldon, NC) scored 15 points and Jalen Gaddy (Jr./Raleigh, NC) added 11 points for Saint Augustine’s University, but the Falcons’ second-half rally fell short in a 60-55 CIAA men’s basketball loss to Claflin University at Emery Gymnasium on Saturday.
Ames scored nine points and Gaddy added six points in the second half for the Falcons, who nearly overcame a 34-24 halftime deficit. Jquwan Ruffin (Jr./Ahoskie, NC) totaled seven points in the second stanza, including a jumper to put the Falcons ahead 55-54 with 1:26 remaining. The Panthers ended the game on a 6-0 run.
The Falcons almost sent the game into overtime. Down 58-55, they missed two three-pointers in the closing seconds. Two Claflin free throws with seven seconds remaining put the game out of reach.
Tyre Gathright (Sr./Wilmington, NC) chipped in 10 points and Ruffin had seven points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Falcons (0-2 Southern Division, 0-2 CIAA, 2-6 overall), who shot 42.3 percent (11 of 26) behind the three-point arc. Gaddy totaled seven rebounds and four assists and D.J. Harrison (Sr./Winston-Salem, NC) grabbed eight rebounds.
Triston Thompson scored 17 points and Jaimik Moore added 14 points for the Panthers, who were 22 of 27 from the free throw line for 81.5 percent. They hit 13 of 15 free throws in the first half to build their 10-point halftime lead.
The Falcons drained 10 of their first 19 three-point attempts which helped them catch up in the second half. A three-pointer by Gathright followed by a three from Ames pushed the Falcons ahead 46-41. Another trey by Ames gave the Falcons a 51-48 lead with 3:57 remaining before the Panthers (2-1 Southern Division, 3-3 CIAA, 4-7 overall) pulled out the win.
The Falcons hit the road for three games next week starting with a matchup against Chowan University on Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Murfreesboro, N.C. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m.
— Office of Sports Information