RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University women's basketball team saw their win-streak of 16 games over longtime rival Saint Augustine's snapped as the Lady Bears dropped a 61-59 decision to the Lady Falcons inside a packed Emery Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.
The loss became the Lady Bears (5-15, 2-6 CIAA) second-consecutive division loss as they fall to 1-2 within the Southern Division. SAU (5-13, 2-7 CIAA) earned their first division win of the season as they now stand 1-2 as well.
Shaw was led by senior KlinTisha Martin (Atlanta, GA) and junior Tahniya Sweatt (Pasadena, CA) who both recorded 13 points apiece. Sweatt also grabbed eight rebounds, three assist and three steals while sophomore Lervenica Johnson-Tyler (Many, LA) contributed seven points and eight rebounds.
Shaw started off the contest, 0-for-13 from the floor and trailed by 12-0 to the Lady Falcons until a put-back from Martin finally got the Lady Bears on the scoreboard. SAU quickly responded with a basket from Kelsee Arnold to put SAU ahead 16-4 with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Shaw finished the quarter, shooting just 16-percent (3-19) from the floor to trail 19-6 heading into the second quarter.
The Lady Bears scored six unanswered points to pull within seven (19-12) in the second frame. Despite missing three free-throws and a deficit as large as 11 points, Shaw used an 11-0 run to tie the game at 23-23 with 1:49 left in the first half. Senior Aliyah Cooley's layup with 35 seconds left gave Shaw their first lead of the night as the Lady Bears went into the locker room with a 25-23 edge.
In the second half, Shaw built a lead as large as 11-points (41-31) but that would be erased as the Lady Falcons rallied from that deficit to close the gap to 44-40 at the end of the third quarter. SAU scored four-straight to the tie the game at 44-44 to start the fourth quarter but the Lady Bears were able to hold on to a lead of three points at the most before SAU made a furious run to take the lead 53-49 at the 4:36 mark.
With under 2:00 remaining in regulation and after a series of lead changes, SAU tied the game for the fourth time on a layup but Martin answered with a jumper from the corner to put Shaw ahead by two (57-55). On the ensuing possession, the Lady Falcons hit a 3-pointer for another lead change before Sweatt silenced the crowd with a layup as 54 seconds remained. SAU tied the game for the fifth and final time on a free-throw from Paulette Addison, she would sink the second to give the Lady Falcons the 60-59 advantage with 16 seconds left.
The Lady Bears had two opportunities to take the lead or tie but could not get anything to fall as SAU grabbed the defensive rebound and time ran out.
Kaaliya Williams led the Lady Falcons in scoring with a game-high 16 points and eight rebounds while Arnold chipped in 14 points and Kamya Renwicks contributed 10 points.
Shaw will return to action Saturday, Jan. 27 at Fayetteville State University. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.