RALEIGH, NC – For the fourth time this season, the Shaw University men's basketball team suffered a buzzer beater loss but this time by the hands of Virginia Union University Thursday night inside C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. With the loss, Shaw falls to 5-8 overall and 1-2 in conference play while VUU improves to 10-4 on the year and 2-0 within the league.
Although the Bears entered Thursday's game with on a two-game skid, Shaw did not play like a team who had previously lost to the Panthers in somewhat similar fashion earlier in the season. The Bears opened up the first half with a 10-5 lead after a tip-in from senior Joshua Cassady (Raleigh, NC) at the 15:21 mark. VUU maneuvered its way back to get within one point but Shaw managed to orchestrate an 18-9 run to lead by 12 points (31-19) with 7:47 left before halftime.
Things appeared as if the Bears would go into the locker room with a double digit lead but momentum shifted in favor of the Panthers when VUU went on a 14-6 spurt to tie the game at 37-37 as 2:50 showed remaining on the clock. A jumper from Kory Cooley would give VUU the 39-38 advantage at the break.
There would be three lead changes and five ties in the second half but in the final 2:49 remaining, Shaw trailed by four points until senior David Madol (Manchester, NH) netted two free-throws to pull the Bears within two points (70-68). VUU responded with two free-throws of its own to groom its lead back up to four points before senior Benji Bell (Gainesville, FL) scored a layup, following another layup from Madol to give the game its final tie at 72-72 with six seconds left.
With just two seconds remaining in regulation, VUU's Tavon Mealy tipped in a good bucket after a missed three-pointer as the buzzer sounded, sealing the 74-72 loss for Shaw.
Bell led all scorers with 21 points while Madol chipped in 12 points and junior DeAngelo Stephens-Bell (Jacksonville, FL) contributed 10 points and four rebounds. Cassady would finish with a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points and four blocks for Shaw.
VUU was led by Marcus Hoosier with 15 points while both Mealy and James Paige tallied 12 points apiece, following John Mitchell with 10 points to round out the double figure scoring. Mealy also grabbed a team-best eight boards.
Due to pending inclement weather this weekend, Shaw's matchup against Bowie State University originally scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 7 has been postponed and rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. The Bears will return to action on Monday, Jan. 9 versus Lincoln (Pa.) in Spaulding for a 8 p.m. tipoff.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw University men's basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit shawbears.com.