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Falcons Drop Close Contest to Bluefield St., 85-81

Box Score

MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Despite 43 points from the backcourt of AJ Clark and Mike Smith, the Pfeiffer men's basketball team (2-3) fell to Bluefield St. (2-5) by a final score of 85-81 on Monday evening at Merner Gym. Sophomore Silvere Aluko added 13 points and five blocks for the Falcons. Shakir Dunning paced the Big Blue with 22 points, including a 13-for-15 performance from the free throw line. Treon Claiborne posted a double double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Samuel Ouedraogo grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.

Pfeiffer's defense held Bluefield St. to 35 percent shooting from the field, but struggled on the boards. The visitors held a 51-37 advantage on the glass and pulled down 20 offensive rebounds.

The Falcons shot 43.5 percent from the floor and converted on 16-of-20 attempts from the free throw line.

Smith paced the offense with 22 points and added four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Clark poured in 21 points and dished out eight assists. The duo continues to be the most prolific scoring tandem in the conference.

Antoine Bryant and Remar Brothers produced off the Big Blue bench, combining for 21 points in only 32 minutes of action.

Pfeiffer jumped out early and confused Bluefield St. offensively. The combination of a press and a zone defense allowed Pfeiffer to jump out to a 25-12 lead at the 9:44 mark. However, the Big Blue erased the deficit with a 12-0 run and eventually grabbed the lead with 1:29 left in the half. The Big Blue held on to the lead and took a 34-31 advantage into the break.

Pfeiffer scored the first seven points of the second half, culminated by a monster dunk by Aluko off a feed from Clark. The Big Blue answered and the teams would battle the rest of the contest. Xavier Evans' bucket in the lane gave the Falcons a 57-52 lead midway through the half. The game would be tied six more times until a 6-0 spurt gave Bluefield St. a 74-68 lead with under four minutes. Smith converted a three point play with 1:55 to go to cut the lead to one, but that was the closest Pfeiffer would get.

The Falcons return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Mars Hill for a 4 p.m. tip off.

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