Any win for the Orange men’s basketball team in Roxboro is precious. On Tuesday night, the Panthers had extra reason to celebrate as they defeated the Person Rockets 65-59 on Tuesday night in Roxboro in the Central Conference Tournament semifinals. Sophomore Coleman Cloer finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, his fifth double-double of the season. Cloer scored 15 in the second half as the Panthers advanced to a conference tournament championship game for the first time since 2017. Despite not even completing two years as a player, Cloer is already at 931 career points. Sophomore Kai Wade went 8-of-8 from the foul line and finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. It was the first win for Orange in Roxboro since December 2014. Cloer fed fellow sophomore Mason Robinson for an ally-oop dunk to trigger a 10-0 run late in the third quarter, putting Orange ahead for good. It was the Panthers second win over the Rockets this season. Xandrell Pennix added eleven points for Orange, while Robinson had ten points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Orange will face Eastern Alamance for the Central Conference Tournament championship on Friday night at 7:30 in Roxboro. Last week, Orange defeated the Eagles 79-74 in Mebane. Orange hasn’t won a conference tournament since 2016 when they defeated Southern Durham to win the Big 8 Conference championship.

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