Shaw Overpowers Virginia State 95-70
[Raleigh, NC] - Offensively, Shaw did little wrong as they dominated visiting Virginia State, 95-70 in their CIAA opener. Malik Alvin paced the Bears with 28 points and joined three other Bears who hit double-digit scoring.
Not only did the Bears hit 60 percent from the floor, but they got off an impressive 55 shots, compared to the Trojans, who hit 51.2 percent, but took only 43 shots. Shaw also powered the ball inside, scoring 38 of their points from the paint - including a number of thundering dunks - compared to only 18 inside points for VSU.
"We shot well," said Shaw head coach Cleo Hill, Jr. "We took a lot of threes for us, but we hit them. We knew they (VSU) were well coached and very scrappy. With so many new (second semester) players, we were solid."
But any coach can find fault, and Hill was quick to point out what he felt was the Bears' shortcoming in the otherwise dominant victory. "We didn't defend. That's all it comes down to. A lot of it is awareness and we've got to work on that."
With the win, Shaw improves to 9-2 on the season, 1-0 in the CIAA. VSU drops to 1-12, 0-3 in the CIAA.
It took Shaw just over six minutes to build a ten-point, 17-7 lead when Latrail McCoy hit a three - one of six they would make in the first half.
With 4:44 left in the half, CIAA Newcomer of the Week Curtis Hines hit a jumper to give the Bears a 32-18 lead. VSU's Mike Bynum answered with a three to cut the Shaw lead to 11, but the Bears would score eight straight - including two three pointers by Alvin - to build the lead to 19 with 2:20 left in the half. They would extend the lead to 21 by the half.
In the second, the two teams played evenly, but VSU was never able to make a serious dent in the 20-plus point Shaw lead.
Dijon Cuffee cut the VSU deficit to 17 when he hit a three, but Shaw answered with seven straight points, punctuated by a Derrick Hunter slam dunk on the fast break that gave the Bears a 61-37 lead with 12:15 left in the game.
While the Trojans could not cut their deficit to under 17, the Bears were not able to build the lead above 25. It took a Devon Mclendon layup with only 15 seconds left in the game to give Shaw the final 95-70 victory.
Alvin's 28 points led all scorers. Mclendon had 15 points, Karron Johnson 14, and McCoy 10. Johnson fell one rebound shy of a double-double in his debut for the Bears - leading both teams with nine rebounds. Tony Smith had more assists than the entire Trojan squad - with nine, compared to VSU's seven.
Four Trojans also scored in double digits with Bynum and Cuffee setting the pace with 13 apiece. Kenny Mitchell had 12 and DeVonte Williams added another ten. Daniel Awosanya led VSU with eight rebounds.
The Bears return to action Monday night when they host Virginia Union in an 8:00 p.m. contest at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium on the Shaw campus. Before the game, the team will honor Dr. George C. Debnam, illustrious Shaw alumnus.