Feb 1, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — As the buzzer sounded, Kearah Jeffreys sank a long three from the left corner, but the basket was waved off, sending the Shaw University Lady Bears to defeat 66-64 against Fayetteville State
in a game played on Wednesday night at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.
The officials waved Jeffreys’ basket off, stating that she stepped out of bounds before the shot banked off the glass. After a long discussion with both coaches, the officials put 0.5 seconds on the clock and gave the ball to the Lady Broncos.
The ensuing inbounds pass went to Fayetteville State’s Kristen Hanzer, who dribbled out of traffic as the buzzer rang to give the Lady Broncos, who overcame a late five-point deficit, the victory.
With the Lady Bears down two late, Ronika Ransford missed a layup with four seconds left, which would have tied the game. Fayetteville State’s Shuanda Ashford snagged down the defensive rebound and passed it over to teammate Je’Lena Robertson, who got the ball taken away by Jeffreys with one second remaining.
Jeffreys fired the trey with less than a second remaining. The shot banked off the glass and brought the Shaw fans in attendance to the court to celebrate the win with the team. However, the fans weren’t aware that Jeffreys stepped on the baseline. The referees eventually restored order and the game was resumed.
“We did a good job of executing what we wanted to on that final shot,” said Shaw head coach Jacques Curtis. “We did a good job getting the steal and the shot went in but they said no. That’s just part of the game. It happens sometimes.”
The loss drops the Lady Bears to 17-3 overall, 8-2 in the CIAA and 3-1 in the Southern Division. Fayetteville State improves to 17-3 overall, 9-1 in the CIAA and 3-1 in the Southern Division. The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak for Shaw, which dated back to January 3 when they fell to Elizabeth City State.
“They have a good team,” said Curtis. “We didn’t play great but we played well enough to win. Fayetteville State is one of the best teams in the conference, along with Elizabeth City State. It was a good workout tonight. It was a good test for us to find out where we are and what we do in a close-game situation.”
The Lady Bears shot 25-of-62 from the floor for a 40.3 percent rate. The Lady Broncos shot just 30.8 percent (on 20-of-65 shooting) in the victory. What kept Fayetteville State alive, however, was free throw shooting. The Lady Broncos were 23-of-28 from the charity stripe for 82.1 percent, compared to just 61.5 percent free throw shooting (on 8-of-13) for the Lady Bears.
“We had several chances to score late, but we had a couple of players miss some easy lay-ins that would’ve helped us get the lead late in the game,” said Curtis. “The shots just didn’t fall. That’s basketball. Sometimes they just don’t fall.”
Ransford finished with a team-high 17 points and dished out a game-high seven assists. Crystal Harris had a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while Jeffreys finished with 13 points on 3-of-5 from beyond-the-arc.
Every time the Lady Bears needed a critical bucket, especially in the latter stages of the game, Jeffreys was there to provide.
“She came in and hit some big shots for us tonight,” said Curtis. “She had been struggling a little bit but she came in and got some good shots and gave us a huge spark off the bench. That’s exactly what we needed.”
In the first minute, both teams traded baskets. The Lady Broncos got off to a quick 3-0 lead behind a layup and a free throw from Akysia Resper. The Lady Bears got on the scoreboard 48 seconds into the contest when Ransford converted a layup.
Resper sank another free throw before Ransford buried the first three-pointer of the contest, putting the Lady Bears up 5-4 with 18:06 remaining in the period.
After that, the Lady Bears went on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes to go up 10. A layup by Harris put the Lady Bears up 16-6 with 12:53 remaining in the opening frame.
The Lady Broncos responded with a 10-4 run to pull within four at 20-16 with 8:39 left. The Lady Bears answered with a little spurt of their own over the next 2:29, going on a 9-2 run to go back up by double digits. A three-pointer by Jeffreys gave the Lady Bears a 29-18 cushion for their largest lead of the half.
The Lady Broncos closed out the remaining 6:10 of the first half on an 18-6 run to pull ahead 36-35 at halftime. They regained the lead when Ashford buried a jumper from the free throw line with one tick remaining.
The Lady Broncos extended their lead to three (38-35) when Tierra Coleman buried a jumper 25 seconds into the second half.
Shaw’s first field goal of the second period came with 17:41 on the clock when Diamond Mitchell buried a three-pointer from the left wing for her only points of the night. After a turnover by Fayetteville State, the Lady Bears recaptured the lead when Ransford drove the length of the floor for a layup to put them up 40-38.
The Lady Broncos answered with an 8-0 run to go up 46-40 with 15:14 remaining. The run was capped off when Resper buried a three-pointer that banked off the glass.
Ransford brought the Lady Bears within five with a free throw. Person sank a jumper from the left corner to extend Fayetteville State’s lead back to seven at 48-41 with 14:23 remaining.
Shaw answered with a 4-0 run to pull within three at 48-45 thanks to a layup from Taylor Dalrymple with 13:45 left in the contest. FSU’s Tierra Coleman put the Lady Broncos back up by five (50-45) with a layup.
Back-to-back buckets by Harris and Ransford, respectively, brought the Lady Bears within one (50-49) with 11:44 remaining.
With 10:36 left, the Lady Bears regained the lead thanks to a three-pointer from Jeffreys. The trey gave them a 52-51 lead, which was part of a 12-3 run for the Lady Bears.
After a steal and a layup from Person to put the Lady Broncos back in front by one, Jeffreys buried another three-pointer to put the Lady Bears back up 55-53 with 8:47 remaining.
Twenty-four seconds later, Ransford buried a free throw to extend Shaw’s lead to 56-53. Following a missed shot by the Lady Broncos, Jeffreys answered once again. She buried a jumper from the left corner to give the Lady Bears a five-point margin (58-53) with 7:40 left.
After a series of missed shots and offensive rebounds, Person hit a jumper to bring Fayetteville State within three with 7:06 remaining in the contest.
The score remained 58-55 for almost three full minutes before Hanzer hit a pull-up jumper to cut Shaw’s lead to one with 4:28 left.
The Lady Bears answered with four straight points from Ransford and Harris, respectively, to go up 62-57 with 3:44 on the clock.
Fayetteville State had one final scoring surge, answering with a 7-0 run to regain the lead at 64-62 with 2:07 left. Hanzer scored five of the seven points during the stretch, including the layup that put them back in front.
Seven seconds later, Sequoyah Griffin drove the length of the floor and immediately tied things up at 64 for her only two points of the night, which would be the final points of the contest for the Lady Bears.
The game remained deadlocked until Resper sank a layup with 13 seconds left to put the Lady Broncos up 66-64.
Hanzer finished with a game-high 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Fayetteville State. Resper added 18 points while Person contributed 10 in the victory.
The Lady Bears will return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Johnson C. Smith. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Charlotte.