With fans fired up, Coaches on their heels and players locked in, the AUC rivalry continues to be a thriller. In spite of a bad shooting day, the Panthers almost forced overtime late in the fourth quarter to 14th ranked Morehouse College on Feb. 9 in Morehouse’s Franklin Forbes Arena.
Early in the first half, the Tigers jumped out to an early 6-0 lead applying pressure to the Panthers. With about 6 minutes remaining, Clark Atlanta began to find its niche going on a scoring-run making the score 15-13.
About a minute later, Tigers’ Omar Alston found an open lane for a dunk making the fans in Forbes Arena erupt out of their seats, upping the Morehouse lead 17-13. Five plays later, Panthers’ Shelvick Henry hit two pivotal shots to close the Tiger lead, with CAU trailing 28-24 at halftime.
Both teams wasted no time coming back from the half, scoring consecutive buckets on each other. After eight minutes, the Tigers’ began to expand their lead making the score 45-35.
From trailing by 14 points with just over four minutes to play, the Panthers were able to wind down the lead to one point after outscoring Morehouse 20-7 over the next three and a half minutes.
The Panthers’ senior core, Jalen Mitchell, Austin Donaldson, and Shelvick Henry combined for 14-points during the stretch. Romaine Thomas followed up with two-free throws and a go-ahead lay-up with 13 seconds remaining to make the score 68-67.
With no timeouts remaining, the Panthers’ were forced to put Morehouse on the free-throw line. Morehouse’s Chibueze Ebinum hit one of two free throws with ten seconds remaining, then Robert Andrews hit one with seconds left to put Morehouse up 70-67.
The Tigers’ Ebinum missed a free-throw, giving the Panthers a chance to send this game into overtime. Jalen Mitchell took the ball and dribbled to mid-court before shooting a three-pointer that hit the backboard, and rolled straight off the rim.
Morehouse Maroon Tigers clinched the SIAC East division title with the win. Shelvick Henry finished with 17-points to lead all CAU scorers, while Romaine Thomas had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Morehouse’s Omar Alston led the Tigers’ with 19 points and 17 rebounds.