WBB: Sluggish Second Half Dooms Shaw in 68-60 Loss to Winston-Salem State

Posted February 13, 2013

— A sluggish second half doomed the 15th ranked Shaw University Lady Bears as they suffered their second straight home defeat, falling 68-60 to Winston-Salem State in the Play 4 Kay Game on Wednesday night at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.

The loss, which is Shaw’s second in the past four games, drops the Lady Bears to 19-4 overall, 10-3 in the CIAA and 5-2 in the Southern Division. The win puts Winston-Salem State back above .500 as they improve to 12-11 overall, 7-6 in the CIAA and 3-4 in the Southern Division.

The Lady Bears, who held a 38-33 halftime lead, were limited to just 22 points in the second half. After shooting 53.8 percent in the first half, the Lady Bears shot a dismal 10-of-26 in the second half for a 38.5 percent rate.

For the game, the Lady Bears shot a combined 46.2 percent from the floor on 24-of-52 shooting. They were just 1-of-9 from three-point territory. The Lady Rams were 21-of-51 from the floor for 41.2 percent and they were 7-of-14 from long range.

The most telling stat of the night came at the free throw line. The Lady Rams were 19-of-21 from the charity stripe for a 90.5 percent rate while the Lady Bears were 11-of-17 for 64.7 percent.

“Offensively, we just didn’t execute,” said Shaw head coach Jacques Curtis. “We didn’t play well enough to deserve to win this game. We put them on the free throw line too much and they doubled up on that. We left them open too many times from three and they capitalized. We just wore down in the second half.”

The Lady Bears were led by a trio of players in double figures as Taylor Dalrymple, Adana David and Ronika Ransford each finished with 10 points.

A five-point play gave the Lady Rams the momentum late in the contest. After Dalrymple converted a three-point play to give the Lady Bears a 55-52 edge, WSSU’s Taylar Wells buried a three from the left wing to tie the game at 55 with 3:12 remaining.

After the shot, a foul was called on Shaw’s Sequoyah Griffin, which sent WSSU’s Keyrra Gillespie to the charity stripe for the one-and-one, where she buried both free throws to give the Lady Rams the 57-55 lead.

“Even though we weren’t playing well, we had control of the game up until that five-point play,” said Curtis. “After that, it was all about us and we just didn’t play well to win this game. If we had won, we would’ve been fooling ourselves.”

The Lady Rams closed out the game on a 13-5 run to earn the win.

“I guess you expect peaks and valleys when you have nine new players,” said Curtis. “But you don’t expect this to happen, especially this late in the season. We are still working to try and get to where we want to be.”

The action was back and forth early on in the first half as neither team was able to build more than a seven-point lead.

The Lady Rams opened the game with a three-pointer from Dionna Scott at the 18:21 mark, giving her squad the early 3-0 advantage.

Crystal Gordon put the Lady Bears on the board when she buried back-to-back jumpers to tie the game at 4 with 17:29 remaining in the opening period. Less than a minute later, Isayra Diaz sank a three-pointer, the lone of the contest for Shaw, to put the Lady Bears up 7-4

Diaz’s trey was part of a 9-2 run for the Lady Bears, who built a 13-6 lead after another jumper from Crystal Gordon with 14:17 left in the frame.

The Lady Rams responded with a mini-spurt of their own over the next 2:45, going on an 8-2 run to pull within one at 15-14.

For the next few possessions, both teams traded baskets before WSSU’s Raven Fields tied the game at 21 with a three-pointer from the top of the key at the 4:53 mark.

Back-to-back-to-back buckets from Dalrymple, Kearah Jeffreys and David put the Lady Bears up 27-21 with 3:39 remaining in the period.

Nineteen seconds later, Scott brought the Lady Rams within four with a layup. After Ransford sank a free throw to extend Shaw’s lead back to five, Scott would score again, converting a layup at the 2:41 mark to cut it to three. Two seconds later, she sank a free throw to bring the Lady Rams within two at 28-26.

With 2:07 remaining, David converted a layup to put the Lady Bears up 30-26. WSSU’s Tareka Cesar buried a three-pointer to bring the Lady Rams within one at 30-29.

The Lady Bears closed out the first half on an 8-4 run, including a buzzer-beating fade away jumper from Ransford, which gave them a 38-33 cushion at halftime.

The Lady Rams opened the second half on a 12-8 run over the first seven minutes to pull within one at 46-45.

Shaw’s Crystal Harris, who finished with five points, made a layup at the 12:09 mark to put the Lady Bears up by three. After a bucket by Gillespie, which closed the gap to one, Harris converted on another layup to give Shaw a 50-47 lead with 10:35 remaining in the game.

The Lady Rams answered with a 5-0 run to eventually regain the lead. Somalia McKinney cut the deficit to one at the 9:31 mark. The score stayed that way for almost two full minutes before Raven Fields sank a three-pointer to give the Lady Rams a 52-50 cushion with 7:42 remaining in the contest.

With exactly seven minutes left in the game, Dalrymple evened things up at 52 when she received a nice pass from teammate Chelsey Pinkstaff under the basket for the layup.

Both teams went scoreless for the next 3:25 before Dalrymple successfully converted a three-point play to put the Lady Bears up 55-52.

After the five-point play gave the Lady Rams the lead back, Griffin tied the game once more with a falling jumper from inside the paint with 2:57 remaining.

Thirty-four seconds later, WSSU’s Schatavia Gray buried a jumper from the top of the key to give the Lady Rams a 59-57 cushion.

David tied the game once more for Shaw after converting a layup with 2:01 left. She received a crisp pass from Dalrymple under the basket to tie the game at 59, which would be the final field goal of the contest for the Lady Bears.

Winston-Salem State’s Vanessa Weston buried four straight free throws to give the Lady Rams a 63-59 lead with 58 seconds left.

After Griffin sank a free throw of her own for Shaw’s final point of the contest, Weston hit two more to give the Lady Rams a 65-60 advantage.

Gillespie buried 1-of-2 from the line with 22 seconds left. Weston would sink two more with 10 seconds remaining to help Winston-Salem State take the victory.

Weston led a trio of Lady Rams’ players in double figures, finishing with a game-high 13 points on 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Scott added 12 points while Wells contributed 10 in the victory.

The Lady Bears will return to action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to cross-town rival Saint Augustine's in the Battle for Raleigh. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Emory Gymnasium.


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