ATLANTA, Ga—This past Monday, a capacity crowd of 1,600 fans packed the stands of L.E. Epps Gymnasium to witness the biggest home game of the year. This “backyard brawl” was one of the most anticipated events throughout the Atlanta University Center.
After losing on the road to SIAC Eastern Division top seed Benedict College, Clark Atlanta came home in search of the win against their rival institution.
Clark Atlanta entered Monday night with the conference’s second ranked 3-point defense, holding opponents to 32.1 percent behind the arc.
Though many believed that the Panthers would struggle against the Maroon Tigers defenders, the Panthers banded together and emerged victorious, 71-66.
The Panthers struggled through the first half as they shot only 23.3 percent on 7-of-30 from the floor; leaving them behind the Maroon Tigers. As the first half continued, the Panthers struggled to defend the Maroon Tigers from scoring which left them behind; going into halftime, 32-25.
As the second half began, the Panthers stepped up the defense with rebounds and pressuring Morehouse into turnovers tying the game, 33-33, while forcing the Maroon Tigers to change their game plan. Half way through the second half, CAU and MC went back-and-forth tying the game, 49-49.
As the half continued, the fans cheered the home team along as Clark Atlanta took the lead, 62-59, with only two minutes remaining on the clock. The Maroon Tigers began to fight back closing the gap from three points to just one point leaving the fans on edge of their seats and the score 64-63. With the level of anticipation increasing and only 30 seconds left on the clock, Maroon Tigers errors cost them the game and leaving the Panthers on the prowl for another victim.
The Panthers shot 7-30 (23 percent) in the first half while increasing that percentage during the second half as they shot 17-30 (57 percent); leaving the Panthers overall shooting percentage at 40 percent, 24-60.
Between the two teams, Clark Atlanta held the advantage as they scored points in the paint, 30-24, while also leading in turnovers, 16-10, and fast breaks, 18-10.
Damien Davis led the scorers with 19 points as Johnson (18 points) and Harper (17 points) came close in double figures.
Anthony Williams led the team in steals with three as Tim Sanders led the team with a game-high six assists.
Clark Atlanta: Men and Women host Paine College on Thursday, Feb. 2, as the schools face off for the first time this season.