Hot Shooting, Scoring Runs Lift Shaw to Championship Round of Tangerine Tournament

Posted December 30, 2012

— Hot shooting and scoring runs helped the Shaw Bears snap a two-game losing skid as they defeated Flagler 79-64 in the opening round of the 38th Annual Winter Park Rotary Tangerine Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Warden Arena on the campus of Rollins College.

The Bears, who had not won since their Dec. 3 triumph over then-ranked Barton, used a game-high 25 points from Curtis Hines to get back to their winning ways. Latrail McCoy had 22 points and Karron Johnson rounded out the trio of double-digit scorers with 18.

As a team, the Bears shot the ball very well from the floor, shooting 29-of-56 for a 51.8 percentage. The Bears also shot 7-of-18 from three-point territory for a 39 percent rate.

Hines, Johnson and McCoy each missed four shots apiece in the contest. Hines was 10-of-14 from the floor for a 71 percent field goal percentage. McCoy shot 8-of-12 from the floor and was 3-of-7 from long range. Johnson was 6-of-10 from the floor for a 60 percent rate.

McCoy, who also dished out seven assists and snagged down a team-high seven rebounds, got the Bears off to a hot start, as he reached double figures in the first nine minutes of the contest. At the 10:53 mark of the first half, McCoy drained a three-pointer to put the Bears ahead by seven (22-15), which gave him a quick 11 points in the contest.

The Saints answered with a 14-6 run and eventually took the lead on a free throw by Ante Gospic, which put Flagler up 29-28 with 6:56 remaining in the first half. The Saints took the lead once again on a three-pointer from Matthias Sigurdarson to put them up 32-29 with 6:11 remaining in the period.

Shaw answered by scoring 12 unanswered points to take a 41-32 lead with 2:59 remaining in the period. The run was fueled by four layups by Junius Chaney, Hines, Johnson and Keith Mitchell, respectively. The Bears also forced the Saints to turn the ball over four times and forced them to miss three shots during that stretch.

With 1:04 remaining in the first half, Johnson was the recipient of a Taurus Dortch pass and slam dunked the ball to give Shaw a 47-36 lead. Hines added a jumper with 13 seconds left to give the Bears a 49-37 lead at halftime. The 12-point cushion was Shaw’s largest lead of the half.

In the first half, Shaw shot 18-of-32 from the field for a 56.3 percentage. The Bears scored 24 of their 49 points in the paint and forced Flagler to turn the ball over six times in the first half and they were able to capitalize with 14 points off of those turnovers.

Shaw continued its hot shooting early in the second half as Hines scored four points in the first three minutes to give the Bears a 53-38 lead with 17:15 remaining in the game. The 15-point cushion was Shaw’s largest lead of the game.

Flagler responded with a 15-6 run over the next five minutes to pull to within six at 59-53 with 12:34 remaining in the contest. With 10:56 remaining, Gospic cut Shaw’s lead to five at 60-55 after scoring on a layup.

After a series of misses and turnovers, Hines ended Shaw’s scoring drought with a layup to put Shaw back in front 62-55. On the other end, however, Flagler cut the deficit to just four after a three-pointer by Matt Clark made it 62-58 with 9:10 remaining.

Both teams traded baskets on each of its next possessions. At the 7:50 mark, Flagler pulled back to within four at 64-60 on a layup by Sigurdarson.

Fourteen seconds later, Johnson received a pass from McCoy as he broke free for the dunk to put Shaw back up by six at 66-60. This was the start of a 9-0 run over the next three minutes that helped Shaw regain the momentum as they built a 73-60 lead with 4:30 remaining in the game.

In the final four minutes of the contest, Shaw’s defense held Flagler to just one field goal, which came at the 3:28 mark. In that stretch, Flagler turned the ball over four times.

The Saints were led by Gospic, who had 20 points. Matt Conway contributed with 10 points in the contest.

Flagler will play Mansfield, which lost 71-61 to host Rollins in the opening round, in the consolation game of the Tangerine Tournament. That contest will be played on Sunday, Dec. 30 at noon.

The Bears advance to the championship game of the Tangerine Tournament and will battle Rollins on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.


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