Shaw's Six-Game Winning Streak Snapped By Winston-Salem State
(Winston-Salem, NC) - An out-of-rhythm offense, a smothering WSSU defense, and a cold shooting touch led to Shaw's second poorest offensive showing of the season as Winston-Salem State beat the Bears 59-49 at the C. E. Gaines Center.
With the loss, Shaw (17-8, 10-6 CIAA and 6-3 in the division) drops into a tie for first place in the Southern Division of the CIAA with Winston-Salem State (18-6, 11-5, 6-3).
For Shaw to claim the first-round bye given to the division's number one seed, they will have to beat Saint Augustine's Saturday night and hope for a Fayetteville State victory over WSSU. If both teams win, they would remained tied, but WSSU would hold the tiebreaker, which is the record within the CIAA.
Shaw was only 19 of 54 from the floor for a flaccid 35.2 percentage rate. The Bears hit only three of 18 from beyond the arc. Tony Smith, who came into the game leading the CIAA in three-point field goal percentage, was zero for 11 from the floor - seven of those from three-point territory. WSSU shot 46.8 percent on the night and hit 63.2 percent of their free throw shots.
Shaw trailed the entire game, falling behind early. When Shelton Carter hit a pair of free throws for the Rams, the score was 7-2 with 15:51 left in the half. Less than two minutes later, Shaw completed a 7-2 run of their own to tie the score at nine when Devon Mclendon hit a three with 14:26 on the clock.
After the Bears scored those seven points in 90 seconds, the Rams spent over four minutes scoring eight, but Shaw did not score at all during that time, and WSSU took a 17-9 lead when McIntoche Alcius hit a jumper with 9:46 left.
Shaw countered with a run of their own, this one an 11-3 sprint that again tied the game, this time at 20 with 6:49 left in the half. The Bears did not score again, though, until less than a minute remained in the half. By that time, the Rams had run off ten points, so Greg Thomas' layup with 52 seconds left in the half merely cut the WSSU lead to 30-22.
The Bears played the first portion of the second half evenly - even chipping away at the lead at times. With 15:38 left in the game, Raheem Smith hit a three pointer that made the score 37-30 for the Rams.
Over the next three minutes, the Rams went on a 10-2 run, and when Marcus Wells sank three free throws with 12:21 left on the clock, WSSU took a 47-32 lead.
Five minutes later, WSSU had stretched the lead to 21, 56-35. The Shaw defense seemed to wake up and the offense scrambled to life. Over the final six minutes, the Bears held the Rams to only three points, while the Shaw offense managed 12 points of its own. But it was too little too late, and the Bears fell to WSSU 59-49.
Raheem Smith was the only Bear to reach double figures, with 13 points. Thomas finished with nine. Mclendon pulled in nine boards and had five assists to lead the Bears.
Andrew Jackson had 12 points to lead the Rams, while Paul Davis had 11 and Stephon Platt ten. Davis' eight rebounds paced WSSU while Jackson and Lamar Monger led Winston-Salem State with three assists apiece.
Shaw returns home Saturday, February 26 for their season ender - a matchup against cross-town rival Saint Augustine's. Tip is 6:00 p.m. at C. C. Spaulding Gymnasium on the Shaw campus. NOTE: This game is being played as a single game, not a double header with the women. The women play Saint Augustine's Thursday, February 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Photos: Raheem Smith (left) had 13 points to lead the Bears. Greg Thomas (right) had nine.