RALIEGH, N.C. – A last second tip-in by the Claflin University women's basketball team gave the Shaw University Lady Bears a 77-75 defeat at the buzzer Saturday afternoon in the Lady Bears Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division opener. The loss snaps the Lady Bears (2-3) two-game winning streak as Shaw starts conference play with a 0-1 start while Claflin improves to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in CIAA action.
Senior guard KlinTisha Martin (Atlanta, GA) registered a career-high 30 points and eight rebounds while senior guard Tahniyah Sweatt (Pasadena, CA) recorded her first career triple-double of 24 points 10 rebounds and 10 steals, she was one assist shy from a quadruple-double with nine assists for the day.
Shaw opened up the contest on a 5-0 run thanks to a layup from freshman center Amani Moxley (Moreno Valley, CA) and a corner 3-pointer from freshman guard Vanessa Davies (Bremerton, WA), the Lady Panthers answered by a Deja Dickens' 3-pointer to cut the Lady Bears lead 5-3. The lead changed six times before Shaw took a one point edge after a tip in from junior center Lynah Bontiff (Dominica, WI) at the end of the first quarter.
In the second stanza, the Lady Bears would lead by as many as nine points on two separate occasions, including a 9-1 run at the 7:16 mark and then again with 2:14 remaining when Martin accounted for a tip-in to give Shaw a 35-26 lead. Although the Lady Panthers closed out the first half on a 7-1 scoring margin, the Lady Bears held a 36-33 advantage at intermission.
Facing a 10-point deficit while being outscored 26-15 in the third quarter, the Lady Bears managed to put together a 5-0 run in the last 30 seconds to pull within five (59-54) after a layup from Martin at the buzzer.
The game would go down to the wire in the fourth quarter, Shaw took a 3-point lead when Martin hit a 15-footer from the wing to give Shaw a 72-68 lead but on the ensuing possession, Claflin's Dionna Long fired a corner 3-pointer and was fouled in which she converted on the 4-point play to give the Lady Panthers a 75-74 edge with 31 seconds left to play.
With 14 seconds left in regulation, Sweatt was fouled and connected 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game at 75-75. An off the mark 3-pointer from Claflin out of a timeout led to an offensive rebound for the Lady Panthers as Long was able to tip-in for the buzzer beater and the win over Shaw.
Claflin had five players finish in double figure scoring led by Dickens with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists while Ashley Fields charted 16 points and eight rebounds. Dashia Jackson added 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Long finished with 14 points and Shakarri Mack chip in 01 points to round out the double figure scoring for the Lady Panthers.
For the contest, Claflin outscored the Lady Bears 29-19 in points off of turnovers while their bench held a 41-29 advantage. Shaw finished with a shooting percentage of 49-percent and 75-percent from the charity stripe compared the Lady Panthers who shot 34.6-percent from the floor and 66.7-percent from the free-throw line.
Shaw will return to action Tuesday, Nov. 27 at William Peace for a nonconference tilt beginning at 6 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's basketball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.