Shaw Squanders Late Lead, Falls 96-89 to Livingstone

Posted February 10, 2013

— The Shaw University Bears saw a 12-point lead quickly evaporate as they dropped their second straight contest, falling to Livingstone 96-89 in a game played on Saturday night at Trent Gymnasium.

With 12:28 remaining in the second half, the Bears held a 69-57 advantage. The Blue Bears responded, however, with a quick 15-3 run over the next five minutes to tie the game at 72 with 7:39 remaining. From there, the Blue Bears closed out the game on a 24-17 run to take the victory.

The Bears have now dropped five of their last seven contests as they fall to 13-9 overall, 7-5 in the CIAA and a mere 1-5 in the Southern Division. Livingstone, on the other hand, improves to 16-5 overall, 8-4 in the CIAA and 4-2 in the Southern Division.

After shooting a dismal 39.3 percent in last week’s loss at Johnson C. Smith, the Bears shot 34-of-62 from the floor for a 54.8 percent rate. The Bears were also 9-of-14 from three-point range. In contrast, Livingstone was 33-of-62 from the floor for 53.2 percent. Like the Bears, the Blue Bears also buried nine three-pointers in the victory.

While both teams were relatively even in every other statistical category, the biggest discrepancy of the night came from the free throw line. The Bears shot just 12-of-22 from the charity stripe for 54.5 percent while Livingstone was 21-of-31 from the line for 67.7 percent.

The Bears had four players score in double figures and were led by Curtis Hines with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Junius Chaney added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Latrail McCoy scored 14 points and Taurus Dortch finished with 11 on 3-of-3 from three-point range.

The first 11 minutes of the first half were back-and-forth as neither team was able to build more than a five-point lead. With 11:22 remaining in the first half, Livingstone’s Jody Hill tied the game at 22.

The Bears answered with a 10-2 run over the next two minutes, capped off by a layup from Dortch, which gave them a 32-24 lead with 9:19 left on the clock.

Livingstone then responded with a 10-2 run of its own to tie the game. With 6:48 remaining in the frame, Mark Thomas buried a free throw to even things up at 34.

Shaw retaliated with a 15-5 run over the next 4:24 to build a 10-point lead at 49-39. McCoy drained a three-pointer to give the Bears the comfortable lead.

In the final two minutes of the first half, the Bears were outscored 8-2 by the Blue Bears to hold the 51-47 lead at halftime.

After Chaney scored just 11 seconds into the second half to give Shaw a six-point edge, the Blue Bears went on yet another scoring run, this one a 6-0 spurt, over the next two minutes to tie the game. Thomas converted a layup while drawing the foul on Dortch. He buried the free throw to even things up at 53 with 17:42 remaining.

Chaney broke the tie after receiving a nice pass from Hines underneath the basket with 17:33 left. Twenty-two seconds later, Livingstone’s Omar Ford-Bey tied the game at 55 after scoring on a layup.

Shaw responded with a 12-2 run to build a 67-57 lead with 12:54 remaining. The Blue Bears had pulled within six before Shaw’s Keanan Harper scored back-to-back layups to give them what appeared to be a comfortable margin.

Twenty-six seconds later, the Bears extended their run to 14-2 when Paulk scored off a dish from Derrick Hunter to give the Bears the 12-point lead at 69-57.

Livingstone brought it back to within single digits (69-60) after Jody Hill buried a three-pointer with 12:12 left. Emarri Bailey sank 1-of-2 free throws to make it an eight-point deficit for the Blue Bears.

At the 10:58 mark, Shaw’s Mohammed Abdur-Rahim scored two of his eight points with a layup to put the Bears back up by 10 at 71-61.

The Blue Bears had another late surge left in them as they rallied with an 11-1 run to tie the contest at 72 with 7:39 remaining. During the run, Thomas scored eight of Livingstone’s 11 points, including the three-pointer that tied the contest.

Nineteen seconds after Thomas’ game-tying three-pointer, Hines broke through and sank a jumper to put Shaw in front 74-72.

Hill tied the game once again at with a jumper. The Blue Bears finally took the 76-74 lead when Ethan Anderson scored on a layup with 5:34 remaining. Livingstone did not trail for the remainder of the contest.

After Chaney evened things up yet again at 76, Livingstone’s Anthony Welch scored five straight points to give the Blue Bears an 81-76 advantage with 4:18 left to play.

McCoy buried a jumper from the top of the key to bring Shaw within three at 81-78 before Welch buried another three-pointer, giving him eight straight points for Livingstone. His trey put the Blue Bears up by six with 3:16 on the clock.

The Bears missed a jumper and a pair of free throws and Livingstone took advantage with yet another three-pointer. This trey came from Thomas, which gave his squad an 87-78 cushion.

With 1:50 on the clock, Hill gave Livingstone a double-digit lead at 89-78 thanks to his jumper. Hunter drove the length of the floor and brought the Bears within single digits with a successful layup. His bucket cut the Bears’ deficit to nine at 89-80 with 1:11 left.

A free throw by Anderson put Livingstone back up by 10. With 54 ticks remaining, Welch converted a layup to give Livingstone a 92-80 lead. The 12-point margin was the largest lead of the night for the Blue Bears.

In the final 44 seconds of the game, the Bears outscored the Blue Bears 9-4, thanks to a pair of three’s from Dortch and one more from Hines, but it wouldn’t be enough for Shaw to mount a comeback.

Livingstone was led by a trio of players with double digits. Thomas finished with a game-high 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Welch, who was 6-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range, finished with 16 points to go along with his seven rebounds. Hill also finished with 16 points in the victory.

The Bears will return to action on Wednesday, February 13 when they host Winston-Salem State. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.


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