ATLANTA, Ga. – Following a well-played first half that saw the Shaw University men's basketball team (4-5) led 41-29 at the break, the offense went cold and the Bears dug a hole they could not get out of against Clark Atlanta (6-4) on Saturday evening, falling to the Panthers on the first day of the L.S. Epps Memorial Scholarship Challenge by a score of 81-68.
Senior David Madol (Manchester, NH) led the Bears in scoring with 18 points on the night to go along with 13 rebounds, while senior Larry Richardson, II (Garner, NC) added 13 points and senior Joshua Cassady (Raleigh, NC) chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds. Shaw went 22-of-60 (41.7 percent) but hit eight of their 23 three-point attempts (35 percent).
On the other side, CAU registered four players in double-figures, led by 18 points from Anthony Williams. Tajai Johnson charted 17 points and nine rebounds, while Tim Sanders and Lawrance Triplett finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Triplett grabbed a team-best 12 rebounds.
The Bears opened up the contest with on a 15-3 run ignited off of a 9-0 run in the first 2:55 of action. Shaw led the entire first half despite the Panthers efforts to cut the deficit to four points at the 9:21 mark on a 14-4 run. The Bears would stretch its margin back up to double-figures over the next four minutes before draining three three-pointers all from Madol to close out the first half with a 41-29 lead.
The Panthers hung tough and would chip at the Bears double-digit lead courtesy of a three-pointer from Sanders to bring CAU within four. Shaw then went on to score five points to extend its lead to eight points (60-52) but the Panthers went on a 9-0 run to give them its first lead of the contest.
Two-free throws from CAU's Derek Harper put the Panthers up by three, although Khaliq Williams (Jacksonville, FL) responds with two free-throws of his own to cut the Bears deficit to one point however, a three-pointer from Harper followed by a basket from Sanders gave CAU a six-point advantage that would prove to be the difference as the Bears could never put a run together down the stretch.
Continuation for the Scholarship Challenge will conclude Sunday with the Bears facing Albany State at 2 p.m.
For more information on Shaw men's basketball and its 11 varsity sports, visit www.shawbears.com.