CHARLOTTE, NC – The Shaw University men's basketball team picked up a division road win by holding off Johnson C. Smith University, 66-63 in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) action at Brayboy Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.
Shaw (10-10, 6-4 CIAA, 4-1 South) hung on after losing a 10-point lead in the second half as JCSU (8-12, 4-6 CIAA, 1-4 South) tied the game at 60-60 with 2:30 left before the Bears recovered by scoring six points down the stretch to secure the win.
Shaw was led by senior Benji Bell (Gainesville, FL) with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists. He was 10-of-10 from the free-throw line. Senior Joshua Cassady (Raleigh, NC) added a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds while junior DeAngelo Stephens-Bell (Jacksonville, FL) finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
In the first half, the Bears jumped out to a 9-3 lead led by freshman DaVaughan Kelsie's (Richmond, VA) two-three pointers. Over a span of nine minutes, Shaw maintained its lead by holding a 13-9 scoring run but the Golden Bulls would tie the game twice at the 6:35 mark and 6:03 point before two free-throws by Bell gave Shaw a two-point cushion. A tip-in from Arthur Bennett gave the game its fourth tie as the lead changed twice before JCSU established a 5-3 run to lead 29-28 over Shaw heading into the locker room at halftime.
Shaw led by 10 points – its largest lead of the game on two occasions in the second half but the Golden Bulls rallied late to tie the game after scoring six-straight points. However, the Bears remained calm and was able to come out with the 66-63 victory after 6-3 run in the final minute.
For the game, the Bears shot just 34.8 percent from the field, connecting 16-of-46 shots. From behind the arc, Shaw made 7-of-22 shots for 31.8 percent and finished 27-of-35 (77.1 percent) from the foul line whereas, JCSU shot 39.1 percent (25-64) from the floor, including 3-of-21 (14.3 percent) from long distance and 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) from the charity stripe.
JCSU was led by Marquen Mitchell and Christian Williams with 15 points apiece. Gabon Williams chipped in 10 points and Aaron Adair finished with a team-best eight rebounds.
Shaw will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 1 when they travel to Petersburg, Va. to take on the Trojans of Virginia State at 7:30 p.m. in the VSU Multipurpose Center.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.