Dec 31, 2012
Winter Park, Fla. — The Shaw Bears will be ringing in the New Year as Tangerine Tournament champions.
The Bears, playing in their final game of 2012 and their final nonconference tilt of the season, overcame a late second half comeback as they knocked off Rollins College 79-66 in the championship round of the 38th Annual Winter Park Rotary Tangerine Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Warden Arena on the Rollins campus.
The Bears, who improve to 6-4 on the season, trailed early on but used a 23-5 first half run to take the lead for good, despite several late comeback efforts by the Tars, who were handed just their second loss of the season as they drop to 8-2.
Shaw was led by Taurus Dortch, who led all scorers with 23 points on 5-of-6 from three-point territory. Karron Johnson added 17 points to go along with his team-high nine rebounds. Latrail McCoy finished with 15 and was 3-of-5 from three-point land. Junius Chaney added 10 points for Shaw, including some critical baskets down the stretch to help the Bears pull away.
Johnson was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, averaging 17.5 points in the two day tournament. McCoy, who averaged 18.5 points in the two games, was the other representative from Shaw named to the All-Tournament team.
For the second straight day, the Bears shot at least 50 percent from the floor. In Saturday’s victory over Flagler, Shaw hit 51.8 percent of their field goals. Against Rollins, the Bears shot 26-of-52 from the floor for a 50 percent rate. They were also 11-of-20 from three-point territory for 55 percent.
In the first half, Rollins got off to a quick 11-3 lead with 17:28 left in the frame. Shaw bounced back and answered with a spurt of their own, scoring 10 unanswered points to take a 13-11 lead with 15:03 remaining in the period.
Shaw’s run extended to 17-0 when Johnson sank a three-pointer to give the Bears a 20-11 lead with 12:18 remaining. After Rollins’ Adam Allen ended the Tars’ drought with a layup, McCoy sank a three-pointer to extend Shaw’s run to 20-2. The long distance shot gave the Bears a 23-13 lead with 11:37 remaining.
Rollins got back to within single digits after Lukas Winegarner sank a three-pointer to cut the Tars’ deficit to seven at 23-16. On the other end, Johnson sank another three-pointer to take Shaw’s lead back to ten points. It also extended Shaw’s run to 23-5.
Shaw extended their lead 28-16 with 9:05 remaining in the opening period after a jumper by Dortch. Rollins got back to within nine after two free throws by Dave Diakite to cut it to 28-19 with 6:45 left.
From there, Shaw responded with another mini-spurt, scoring six straight points, capped off by a jumper from Johnson which helped Shaw build a 34-19 lead with 5:09 remaining.
Allen scored on a layup to end Shaw’s run and get the Tars back to within 13. On their next possession, the Bears took their largest lead of the first half after McCoy sank a three-pointer to give Shaw a 37-21 lead with 4:14 remaining in the period.
Rollins scored five straight points to get back to within 11 at 37-26. Shaw’s Derrick Hunter stole the ball away from Mitch Woods and drove all the way down court for a slam dunk. Junius Chaney put the Bears back up by 15 after scoring on a layup with 32 ticks remaining.
Kyle McClanahan scored the final points of the first half for Rollins, driving in for a layup with 19 seconds left. Since trailing 11-3 early, Shaw had outscored Rollins 38-17 over the final 17 minutes to give the Bears a comfortable 41-28 halftime lead.
In the first half, Shaw shot the ball extremely well, going 15-of-29 from the field for a 52 percent rate. The Bears were 9-of-15 (60 percent) from three-point land in the first half. Rollins, on the other hand, shot 9-of-25 for 36 percent.
Shaw took its largest lead of the afternoon after Dortch drained a three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half to put the Bears up 46-29 with 19:15 remaining. At the 14:23 mark, Shaw held a 58-43 advantage thanks to a layup from Dortch.
After that, Rollins responded with a 9-0 run to cut their deficit to six at 58-52 with 11:27 left in the game.
Shaw ended Rollins’ run with a bucket by Derrick Hunter at the 9:59 mark, which put the Bears back up by eight at 60-52. Shaw extended its lead back to double figures thanks to a successful three-point play by Chaney, who drove to the hole and scored the layup while getting fouled. After he hit the free throw, the Bears held a 63-52 lead with 8:49 remaining.
The Tars cut the deficit to eight at 64-56 following two free throws by Diakite at the 6:18 mark. A Bears turnover and a late foul sent Rollins’ Jeff Dirkin to the charity stripe, where he connected on both free throws and cut the Tars’ deficit to six at 64-58 with 5:36 remaining in the contest.
Just like they did all game long every time Rollins made a run, the Bears answered. This time, it was a three-pointer by Dortch to extend Shaw’s lead to nine with 1:14 remaining. Dortch gave the Bears a 10-point advantage after sinking two free throws with 52 ticks remaining to help seal the victory for Shaw.
The Bears hit six free throws in the final 37 seconds for the final 79-66 margin. As a team, the Bears shot 16-of-21 from the charity stripe for a 76.1 percent rate.
Rollins was led by Diakite with 20 points and six rebounds. Allen added 11 points while McClanahan added 10 for the Tars.
The tournament championship marks the first time in Shaw’s history that the Bears have won the Tangerine Tournament. Shaw went 0-2 in their last appearance in the Tangerine Tournament back in 2009.
In the consolation game, Mansfield defeated Flagler 56-54 to finish in third place in the tournament. Mansfield improves to 3-6 on the season while Flagler falls to 4-5.
Diakite and McClanahan from Rollins, along with Ante Gospic (Flagler) and Joe Bell (Mansfield) joined Johnson and McCoy as representatives on the All-Tournament team.
Shaw will return to action on Thursday, January 3 when they travel to Elizabeth City State in the CIAA opener. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.