Joining Stephens-Bell in double-figures was freshman DeVaughan Kelsie (Richmond, VA) with a career-high 16 points, while junior Khaliq Williams (Jacksonville, FL) poured 14 points and four rebounds and senior David Madol (Manchester, NH) chipped in 11 points and nine boards. Senior Joshua Cassady (Raleigh, NC) recorded a team-best 10 rebounds in addition to scoring five points and three assists for Shaw.
The opening half featured a tight battle, as there was 15 lead changes and two ties but at the 7:44 mark the Bears would build a 15-3 run after a one handed slam from Stephens-Bell, followed by a fast-break three-pointer from Kelsie to stretch Shaw's lead 27-21.
Over the course of 7:02 remaining in the first half, Shaw would continue to expand on its run by holding the Golden Rams to just 10 points. A total team effort from the Bears, including hot shooting from Kelsie who finished with a 14 points and a three-pointer from Williams at the buzzer would give the Bears a 51-30 advantage at halftime over Albany State.
Halftime statistics showed Shaw shot 53 percent (19-36) from the floor and 67 percent (10-15) from the three-point line while holding the Golden Rams to just 30 percent (11-36) and 33 percent (3-9) from behind the arc.
Shaw scored six-straight to open the second half but the Golden Rams answered back with seven-straight to cut the deficit. From there the Bears fell into scoring drought with its last bucket at the 14:38. Madol would snap the drought with two free-throws midway.
Offensively, Shaw could not find rhythm in final half. The Bears saw a 28-16 scoring disadvantage down the stretch but a three-point play from Stephens-Bell gave Shaw a 70-58 lead with 3:57 remaining. Despite being outscored in the second half, Shaw would keep its poise and would secure the win after scoring eight-straight.
The Golden Rams were paced by Devontay Ward with 14 points. Khaliq Hughes added 13 points and five assists while Brandon Hudson contributed 11 points.
Shaw will return to action Dec. 28-29 for the Shaw U Classic featuring Livingstone College, Benedict College and Claflin University with game times slated for 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. inside C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. The Bears will face Benedict Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Claflin Thursday, Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information on Shaw men's basketball and its 11 varsity sports, visit www.shawbears.com.