RALEIGH, N.C. – For the third consecutive year under the leadership of head coach Joel Hopkins, the Shaw University men's basketball team is the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Southern Division Champions after claiming an 84-72 victory against Johnson C. Smith University in its regular season finale Saturday afternoon inside the historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. The Bears celebrated one senior, Philip Garner (Atlanta, GA) prior to tipoff for Senior Day.
The victory gives Shaw (15-12, 10-8 CIAA, 9-3 South) the No. 1 seed in the South during the 2019 CIAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which will take place Monday, Feb. 25 through Saturday, Mar. 2 at both the Bojangles Coliseum and the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. The Bears will likely face the winner of the No. 5 South and No. 4 North winner on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
An official bracket of the 2019 CIAA Men's Basketball Tournament will be released later on this evening.
During the game, Hinton reached his 2,000th career point with a dunk to start the second half. He would pace the Bears in scoring with 22 points, four rebounds, two steals and a block while junior DaVaughn Kelsie (Richmond, VA) added 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the 3-point. Junior Davon Dillard (Gary, IN) chipped in 11 points and five rebounds while sophomore Alex Owens (Brandenton, FL) finished with 10 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and four assists in the winning effort.
The Bears started the opening half with a seven point lead after 21-14 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Garner at the 9:15 mark. Shaw then orchestrated a double-digit lead including its biggest lead of the half at 16 points when Kelsie produced his second 3-pointer of the stanza en route to a 45-32 lead in favor of Shaw at halftime.
Despite JCSU's effort to cut the Bears lead to single digits on numerous occasions, the second half would be all Shaw as the Bears used a 17-5 run that featured nine unanswered points with 8:51 remaining to run away with the contest and home finale victory on senior day. The Golden Bulls never got any closer than nine points in the entire second half.
Cayse Minor led JCSU (8-17, 5-13 CIAA, 4-8 South) with 19 points and four rebounds while Roddric Ross added 10 points and four rebounds in the loss for the Golden Bulls.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw men's basketball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.