RALEIGH, NC – Poor shooting from the free-throw line hurt the Shaw University men's basketball team as the Bears dropped a 66-59 decision to cross-town rival Saint Augustine's University on Saturday afternoon inside a crowded Emery Gymnasium. Despite the loss, Shaw (12-12, 8-7 CIAA, 6-2 Division) still has a chance to claim the division title with two possible victories against Fayetteville State and Johnson C. Smith for its final two regular season games.
Senior Benji Bell (Gainesville, FL) poured in 21 points and seven rebounds while junior DeAngelo Stephens-Bell (Jacksonville, FL) added 11 points and four assists, followed by freshman DeVaughn Kelsie (Richmond, VA) who contributed 11 points and three assists off the bench.
Shaw took an early 3-0 lead after senior Larry Richardson, II (Garner, NC) knocked down a three-pointer but the Falcons answered back from long distance to give the game its first tie with 18:13 on the clock. Two possessions later, SAU went on a 10-0 run to lead 10-3 over the Bears before a basket by junior Russell Robinson, Jr. (Chicago, IL) snapped a scoring drought for Shaw.
The Bears tied the game twice before the Falcons ballooned to an 11-point lead after a 15-4 run with 1:38 remaining in the first half. Shaw scored the last five points to cut the deficit 31-25 at intermission.
The Falcons opened up the second half on a 9-0 run before Shaw got its first basket on a three-pointer from Bell but the Bears trailed 40-28 with 14:54 left. The Bears trailed by as many as 17 points before using a 17-2 run to pull within two points (58-56) with 1:38 left in regulation.
In the final 1:21, Shaw missed four free-throws down the stretch compared to the Falcons who was responsible for eight made free-throws which proved to be the difference maker in the contest. The Bears shot just 8-of-28 (28.6 percent) from the foul line while SAU shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22).
Anthony Gaskins led the Falcons in scoring with a game-high 28 points. Kenneth Collins added 16 points and Quincy January recorded a double-double 13 points and 14 rebounds for SAU (11-14, 5-9 CIAA, 2-6 Division).
Shaw will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at Fayetteville State University with a tipoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw men's basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.