MELBOURNE, Fla. - The #24 Shaw University women's basketball team dropped their third straight contest, losing to Palm Beach Atlantic 75-65 in the opening round of the Florida Tech Holiday Tournament at the Clemente Center on the Florida Tech campus Friday afternoon.
Just 12 days ago, Shaw beat Palm Beach Atlantic at a game played in Raleigh 90-70, but today the Lady Bears had no answer for Kasie Parker, who had 32 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Sailfish.
The Lady Bears last lost three in a row in January of 2011 when they lost three straight conference matchups against Livingstone, Fayetteville State and Johnson C. Smith. With today's loss, Shaw drops to 5-4, while PBAU improves to 5-9 on the season.
Neither team shot particularly well in the contest, with PBAU hitting 24 of 67 shots (35.8 percent) while Shaw hit 20 of 62 for 32.3 percent.
Like the shooting percentage, many of the statistics were even. PBAU outrebounded Shaw, but only by a single board, 46-45.
The big difference came on turnovers, with Shaw committing 16 to only ten for the Sailfish. PBAU had 22 points off turnovers, compared to only eight for Shaw.
Despite the presence of Shaw's Verdine Warner in the paint, the Sailfish still managed to score inside at a greater clip, garnering 36 points in the paint to only 28 for the Lady Bears.
The first half was a seesaw affair with each team holding a seven-point lead at some point, as well as mounting big scoring runs.
Diamond Mitchell scored the first five points for the Lady Bears as they built a 9-2 lead in the early going.
The Sailfish responded with a 16-3 run, which ended when Shaw's Brittany Henry hit a layup to trim the PBAU lead to 18-14.
Shaw then mounted an 8-3 run, ending with Bryann Guyton hitting a jumper to give the Lady Bears a 22-21 lead. They added another three points before Parker hit a three for the Sailfish to trim the Shaw lead to 25-24 with 4:03 to go in the first half.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth the rest of the way with neither team building a lead of more than three. Going into the locker rooms at the half, Palm Beach Atlantic held a 32-31 lead.
Palm Beach Atlantic opened the second half with a 10-4 scoring run, equaling their largest lead to that point at seven, 42-35 with 15:49 left in the game.
The Sailfish continued to hold a five to seven point lead for most of the second half. With 5:26 left in the half, Jaz Green hit a pair of free throws to give PBAU an eight-point, 63-55, lead.
Guyton answered with a jumper off a pass from Mitchell, then hit another a minute later to cut the Palm Beach Atlantic lead to four.
Nikkira Brown hit a three for the Sailfish to extend their lead back to seven at 66-59 with 3:05 left in the contest.
No one scored for a minute and a half, when Shaw fouled Parker, who hit one to extend the lead to eight.
Mitchell then found Brooks on the perimeter for a rare three pointer for the Lady Bears to trim the lead to five, 67-62 with 1:05 left.
On the next two possessions, Shaw traded threes for free throws. Green hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead back to seven, but Brooks responded with another three to trim the lead to four at 69-65.
Green hit a free throw, but the Bears could not convert on the other end. They resorted to fouling the rest of the way, but could not cut into the lead any farther, with the score finishing at 75-65.
Brooks led the Lady Bears with 16 points, while Guyton added another 13. Warner pulled in 10 rebounds and Mitchell dished out six assists to lead Shaw.
Brown was the only other Sailfish in double digits with ten points. Green finished the contest with ten rebounds. Parker's four assists led PBAU.
With the loss, Shaw drops to the consolation game at noon Saturday where they will face LeMoyne-Owen at noon. The Lady Bears do not return home until after the holidays when they open CIAA play on January 2 against Elizabeth City State at C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. Tip is 6:00 p.m.