The Panthers were the only team under par with a score of 287. Ferrum (298) and Methodist (301) round out the top three.
Howard leads the individual standings after firing a 3-under par 69. Najim is tied for second, one shot back after a 2-under par 70. Osborn Theam gave the Panthers three players in the top five with an even par 72 to tie for fifth. Logan Lanier (76) and Eric Havixbeck (77) rounded out the scoring for the Panthers.
The Panthers begin second round play Saturday at 9:20.