WBB: Strong First Half Powers Shaw Past Fayetteville State 75-65

Posted February 21, 2013

The Shaw University women's basketball team used a nearly flawless first half to build a 75-65 win over Fayetteville State in a game played Wednesday night at F.J. Capel Arena on the FSU campus.

"The first half was our best half of the year," said Shaw head coach Jacques Curtis. "We played smart. We only had four turnovers. In the second half we slipped up a little bit, but we beat one of the best teams in the conference tonight. It was a good game."

With the win, the Lady Bears improve to 21-4 overall, 12-3 in the CIAA and 7-2 in the Southern Division. The loss drops Fayetteville State to 21-4, 13-2 in the conference and gives them an identical 7-2 mark in the division.

In addition to turning over the ball only four times, the Lady Bears also committed only five fouls in the first. Overall, Shaw committed 15 fouls total, allowing FSU only 15 free throws.

"We played a little smarter," said Curtis. "Last time we outscored them from the field and from the three - everywhere but the free throw line. Last time we had eight free throws and they had 25 and that was the difference in the game. This time around our goal was not to lose from the free throw line."

The only true low note for the Lady Bears came with about six minutes left in the game. Sequoyah Griffin made a cut then fell to the floor in pain.

"It was an expensive win," said Curtis. "It looks like we probably lost Sequoyah to a knee."

Shaw fell behind early in the contest, but came back on a balanced scoring attack with seven players scoring at least four points - and another adding a single bucket.

Fayetteville State jumped to an early 6-0 lead on three jumpers from Shuanda Ashford. It took Shaw nearly four full minutes before they got on the board, with a layup from freshman Jessica Anderson.

Anderson's layup triggered a 14-4 Shaw run that turned the four-point deficit into a six-point advantage when Taylor Dalrymple hit a layup with 13:05 left in the half.

FSU responded with two straight buckets, and after a Crystal Harris free throw, tied the game with a three from Akysia Resper with 10:45 left.

Over the next five minutes, Shaw and FSU tied the score a total of three more times, the last coming with 5:52 left in the half.

Shaw's three Crystals - Gordon, Wilson and Harris - all contributed at least one point as the Lady Bears scored six straight, culminating with a layup from Griffin.

After a Lady Bronco basket trimmed the Shaw lead to four, the Lady Bears ran off five straight points to close out the half with a 37-28 lead.

FSU opened the second half scoring four straight points to cut the Shaw lead to only five, 37-32. Gordon hit a layup to put Shaw back on the scoreboard and stretch the Lady Bear lead back to seven.

With 16:45 left in the contest, Kristen Hanzer hit a jumper for the Lady Broncos to trim the Shaw lead to 44-38.

Shaw responded by scoring five straight, punctuated by a layup from Dalrymple to set the score at 49-38.

The two teams effectively traded buckets for the next four minutes. With 10:07 left, Alicia Person hit a jumper for the Lady Broncos, pulling FSU within eight at 53-45.

Harris then scored five straight points - two layups and a free throw - to give Shaw a 58-45 lead with 9:02 left to play. After a single free throw from FSU, Griffin sank a pair to give Shaw a 60-46 lead with 7:21 left. The 14-point margin would be the largest for the Lady Bears in the game.

FSU responded by scoring six straight points. With 6:08 left, Resper sank a layup that cut the Shaw lead to eight. Three minutes later, a pair of Resper free throws cut the Shaw lead to six - but that would be as close as the Lady Broncos came the rest of the contest.

Up 68-61 with 2:14 left, the Lady Bears scored five straight, including a three-point play from Harris, putting the game out of reach of the Lady Broncos at 73-61. The teams would exchange buckets with Resper's layup ending the contest and setting the final score at 75-65.

Eight Lady Bears got in the scorebook - six with eight points or more. Harris led Shaw with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. Wilson had 13 points and Isayra Diaz and Dalrymple had ten apiece. Griffin and Kearah Jeffreys had eight each. Wilson also led the Lady Bears in assists with five.

Ashford finished the night with 17 points to lead the Lady Broncos. Hanzer and Resper had 15 apiece and Person contributed ten. Tierra Coleman and Hanzer led FSU with six rebounds each. Hanzer had a game-high seven assists.

The Lady Bears close out the regular season on Saturday with a nationally televised game against Johnson C. Smith.

"If we can play like we played tonight, we can beat Johnson C. Smith," said Curtis. "Smith gave us a run for our money down at their place. It's going to be senior night and you want to see your seniors out the right way. We need a Smith win just to keep the momentum going. We're going to need this game to see how we're going to play without Sequoyah."

To allow for the television broadcast, Saturday's game will be played at Southeast Raleigh High School at 2600 Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh. The noon game will be carried on CBS Sports Network.


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