Lady Bears Hold Off Late Charge, Defeat ECSU 74-72
[Elizabeth City, NC] - Shaw was up 12 with just under nine minutes to play, but it came down to a missed three-pointer at the buzzer by ECSU's Jasmine Whitehurst before the Lady Bears could bring home the win over Elizabeth City State, 74-72.
"I was definitely holding my breath," said Shaw associate head coach Carl Hatchell of ECSU's last-second attempt to win the game. "I was holding my breath real hard. The way they were hitting shots at the end of the game, I was beginning to think they couldn't miss."
After building the 12-point lead, Shaw had some defensive miscues and turnovers that allowed ECSU back into the game. "We made some mental mistakes, gave up some threes and had an unforced turnover. Momentum had definitely changed," said Hatchell.
"I thought we were in control," he continued. "We shot 64 percent in the second half and they only hit 45.5 percent. You'd think we'd win going away."
The win is Shaw's fifth straight and raises their record to 9-5, 5-0 in the CIAA. Elizabeth City State falls to 8-7, 2-3 in the conference.
After an even five minutes, with the Lady Vikings up 9-6, the Lady Bears went on a nine-point run, giving them a 15-9 lead and making it look as though they might run away with the contest.
After Crystal Harris' layup, giving Shaw an 18-11 lead, ECSU scored six unanswered points, all but erasing their deficit.
With 8:29 left in the first, Chelsey Lee hit a jumper for the Lady Vikings that tied the score at 21.
With 3:50 left in the half, DeAudra Brown hit a jumper to give Elizabeth City State a 30-27 lead, but the Lady Bears would close out the half on a five-point run, taking a 32-30 lead with 54 seconds left when Harris closed out the scoring in the half with a layup.
Jasmine Walker hit a jumper to open the second half that tied the score -- the ninth time the game was tied to that point.
With 13:30 left in the game, Whitney Gray hit a layup for the Lady Vikings that tied the score for the 13th and final time in the game at 46-all. Aslea Williams hit a layup with 13:15 left in the game to start what would become a 14-2 scoring run for Shaw.
With 8:59 left in the game, Sequoyah Griffin hit a three to give Shaw a 60-48 lead.
ECSU, aided by two show turnovers, ran off nine straight to cut the Shaw lead to only 60-57. Shaw would build the lead back to six with 1:10 left, but two ECSU jumpers cut the lead to two. After Brittney Spencer hit a pair of key free throws, she committed a foul, and DeAudra Brown hit both shots to cut the lead to two again.
Allyssa Lane had the chance to give the Lady Bears a four-point lead, but missed both free throws, giving Whitehurst the final attempt that fell just a few inches left of the target.
Three Lady Vikings had 12 points apiece: Chelsey Lee, Whitehurst and Wykeemia Gray. Brown added another ten. Lee, Whitney Gray and Wykeemia Gray had six rebounds each for ECSU. Whitney Gray led her squad with seven assists.
The Lady Bears return home on Thursday, January 19 when they host Lincoln (PA). Game time Thursday is at 5:30 p.m. at the C. C. Spaulding Gymnasium on the Shaw campus.