Feb 1, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — It took a 21-7 run to open the second half, but the Shaw University Bears finally found a way to capture a win in the CIAA's Southern Division as they defeated Fayetteville State 78-64 in a game played Wednesday night at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.
"It feels like forever since we got a win. It is big for us," said Shaw head coach Cleo Hill, Jr. "This was a game we had to win. We were struggling and FSU was struggling as well. We just wanted to come out and do some things correctly, but in the first half we did just the opposite. In the second half, we made some substitutions and started doing things better at both ends."
With the win, Shaw snaps a three-game losing streak and improves to 13-7 on the season, 7-3 in the CIAA and 1-3 in the Southern Division. Fayetteville State drops to 8-11, 3-7 in the conference and 0-4 in the division.
After building a double-digit lead late in the game, Shaw found itself at the foul line - not the most comfortable spot for the Bears this season - for the last two minutes of the game. Shaw hit all 14 free throw shots in those closing minutes, securing the victory.
"I think there are a couple areas we've been focusing on more than I've ever had to the last week and a half: free throws, defensive rebounding and taking care of the ball," said Hill. "Today we hit our free throws, only gave up eight offensive rebounds and had only 13 turnovers against a pressing team. That's something we have to build on down the stretch."
Shaw opened the game scoring the first five points of the contest, but FSU responded with five straight points of their own to tie the contest at five.
Down two, Shaw's Junius Chaney hit a layup off a pass from Karron Johnson, was fouled, then converted the free throw to give Shaw a 10-9 lead - their last lead of the first half.
The Broncos reeled off a 10-2 run, capped by Louis Craft's jumper in the lane to give Fayetteville a 19-12 lead with 9:10 left in the period.
Latrail McCoy ended Shaw's nearly six-minute scoring drought, hitting a layup with 8:34 showing on the clock. Tyrrel Tate hit a three for FSU 17 seconds later, and the Broncos worked their way up to an 11-point margin when Lenton Donnell hit a three to give Fayetteville State a 30-19 lead.
Shaw closed out the half on a 9-2 run, including four points from Taurus Dortch, to trim the Bronco lead to 32-28 at halftime.
Shaw opened the second by scoring the first seven points of the half - five from Curtis Hines - to reclaim the lead 35-32. Andre Best hit a three for Fayetteville to retie the game, but Shaw answered with another seven-point run, capped by a layup from Chaney to give Shaw a 42-35 lead.
After exchanging buckets for two minutes, Shaw began to pull away even further when Derrick Hunter sank a pair of free throws and McCoy hit one of two from the charity stripe to give Shaw a 50-39 lead with 10:07 left in the game.
Fayetteville State battled back, trimming the Shaw lead to only eight on a pair of free throws from Sheldonte Fields. Shaw scored the next five points including a dunk and a layup from Andre Paulk and built a 59-46 lead with 5:40 remaining in the contest.
FSU scored the next four points, before both teams fell silent for over a minute and a half. When Hines got the tip in off a Paulk missed shot, he put the Bears back on top by 11, 61-50. Andre Best scored two buckets, but sandwiched in between was a three from Paulk. Paulk's trey would be the last field goal for the Bears and came with 2:36 left.
The Broncos then decided to foul - hoping that Shaw's poor free throw shooting would allow them back in the game. But the Bears didn't miss a single free throw down the stretch. McCoy and Dortch sank four apiece, while Paulk closed out the game hitting six straight free throws.
By the time Shaw finished its time at the line, they'd extended their lead to 14 for the final 78-64 tally.
Paulk finished the game with 19 points in 19 minutes of action. Hines had 16 and McCoy had 15. Chaney led the Bears with six rebounds and Johnson and Hunter had three assists apiece to pace Shaw.
Best had 11 points to lead the Broncos, while Tate was the only other FSU player in double digits with ten. Craft and Fields had five rebounds apiece while Best led Fayetteville with a game-high four assists.
With this win in hand, the Bears now look forward to another Southern Division matchup - this one at Johnson C. Smith.
"We still have to make sure the chemistry and rotation is correct in terms of doing things the right way," said Hill. "We still haven't found the reason we played so poorly in the first half and so well the first eight minutes of the second. We've just got to figure it out."
Tipoff Saturday is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Smith's Brayboy Gymnasium.