RALEIGH, N.C. – In a split second Wednesday night, the Shaw University men's basketball team went from "uh-oh" mode to firmly in control against rival Saint Augustine's University as the Bears defeated the Falcons, 54-48 inside a crowded Emery Gymnasium for a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division showdown.
Shaw (13-6, 6-2 CIAA) improved to 3-0 in the south for first place while SAU (9-11, 6-3 CIAA) and 1-2 in division standings. The Bears shot 40-percent (22-54) from the field and only hit 7-of-16 shots (44-percent) at the free-throw line compared to the Falcons who connected 19-of-55 (36-percent) from field goal range and 27-percent (5-18) at the charity stripe.
The first half was a low scoring affair for both teams, Shaw maneuvered a 5-1 lead in the first five minutes of action but then the Falcons scored nine unanswered points to lead 10-5 over the Bears.
A jumper from Tyre Gathright led to the Falcons leading by nine after a dunk from Quincy January to put SAU ahead 18-9 with 5:16 left in the first half. Shaw got a spark from senior Cameron Golden, Sr. (Memphis, TN) when he drained a 3-pointer from the corner to pull the Bears within five. The Falcons scored on a jumper from Kenneth Collins but senior DeAngelo Stephens-Bell (Jacksonville, FL) went coast-to-coast for a layup at the buzzer as the Bears trailed 24-19 at the half.
Shaw stayed within three to start the second half but the Falcons used a 7-0 run to stand 31-23 over the Bears with 14:59 mark. Shaw put together a 13-4 spread to tie the game at 36-36 with 8:41 remaining in regulation. From there the Bears held a lead for over one minute until SAU hit a jumper to take the lead back; however, senior Savon Goodman (Philadelphia, PA) put the Bears back up by one thanks to a jumper with under 5:00 to go.
Although the Falcons pulled within one (45-44) at the 2:06 mark and had the opportunity to tie the game, two missed free-throws by SAU gave Shaw the chance to go to the line where they would sink both to put some cushion on their lead (52-48) with 17 seconds left. After a missed 3-pointer, senior Khaliq Williams (Jacksonville, FL) would go to the line again where he would cash in two freebies to put a stamp on the win for Shaw.
Stephens-Bell scored a game-high 16 points and 13 rebounds while Goodman charted his 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Golden, Sr. finished with 10 points to round out the double-digit scoring for Shaw.
SAU was paced by Gathright with 13 points and Collins added 11 points.
Shaw will return to action Saturday, Jan. 27 at Fayetteville State University. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.