Shaw Men Earn Last-Minute Win Over Columbus State, 76-74
(Morrow, GA)- Plagued by turnovers through much of the game, Shaw took advantage of a rare Columbus State turnover late in the game, and Jaylon Battle hit a layup in the last second to give the Bears a 76-74 win in a game played on the campus of Clayton State as part of the Heritage Bank Holiday Classic.
With the game tied at 74 with 19 seconds left in the game, the Cougars committed one of only six turnovers on the night. Shaw's Darryl Johnson missed a jumper, but Battle got the rebound and with one second left on the clock hit the layup for the 76-74 victory. The Cougars put up a very long three-point attempt, but it fell short, sealing the Shaw win.
Throughout the game, Shaw (7-1) struggled with turnovers, committing 13 on the game – but none in the final 5:45 of the game. In those final five-plus minutes, Columbus State committed three critical turnovers.
The Cougars jumped to an early lead – grabbing a 10-5 advantage with fewer than five minutes gone off the clock. Tony Smith hit a three to cut the CSU lead to two, and a minute later, Sheridan Price sank a jumper in the lane to tie the score at 12.
Isaac Joyner hit a trey for CSU, giving them a 15-12 lead, but Battle scored five straight points, giving the Bears a 17-15 lead.
While the Cougars would cut into the lead, Shaw never surrendered their advantage in the first, going into the locker room at the half with a 39-34 lead.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the Bears built the lead to 11, but turnovers allowed the Cougars back into the game. With 5:45 left in the game, the Bears had 13 turnovers to CSU's three – and the Cougars had a four-point lead, 66-62.
Shaw fought back, scoring four straight to tie the game at 66. The two teams then played evenly – with neither able to open up more than a two-point advantage leading into the final seconds and Battle's last-second bucket.
Scoring was balanced at both ends of the court with four players from each team reaching double figures. For the Bears, Tony and Raheem Smith each had 21 points, while Battle had 16 and Dwight Bell had ten. Battle led both teams with eight rebounds.
Donta Ridley had 20 points for the Cougars, while Paul Darkwa had 16, Jeremy Grimball had 12 and Steve Peterson had 11. Peterson and Darkwa had seven rebounds apiece.
Tomorrow, the Bears will take on host Clayton State in the closing game of the Heritage Bank Holiday Classic. They return home on Thursday, January 6 to open their CIAA season against Saint Paul's at 8:00 p.m.
Photos: Raheem (left) and Tony Smith had 21 points each to lead the Bears.