CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Shaw University men's basketball team cut a 31-point deficit in the second half but the Bears rally fell short as the Trojans of Virginia State University defeated Shaw, 77-66 in the 2019 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Men's Basketball Championship game Saturday afternoon at the Spectrum Center.
The Bears conclude the season 16-2 overall. Junior Amir Hinton (Philadelphia, PA) scored a game-high 34 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists while junior DaVaughn Kelsie (Richmond, VA) added 17 points and freshman Geremy Taylor (Pompano Beach, FL) chipped in 12 points and four rebounds.
VSU held a 38-34 advantage of the Bears on the glass which led to a 19-6 frame for the Trojans in second chance opportunities. Shaw never led the entire game despite its bench outscoring its opponents 66-13.
The Trojans scored the game's first basket on a 3-pointer from Jalen Jackson on the first possession, VSU then went ahead 6-0 before the Bears got its first basket on a 3-pointer from Kelsie to close the gap to 6-3. The Trojans then used a 15-8 to lead 25-11 over Shaw with 11:25 left.
The Bears chipped the deficit to single digits after scoring five-straight, capped off by a steal and slam dunk from Hinton to force the Trojans to call a timeout with 9:21 on the clock. Another two steals and two consecutive slam dunks from Hinton ignited the Shaw faithful's and pull the Bears within 27-22.
Virginia State (27-4) then doubled its lead again by closing out the first half on a 15-3 run for a 42-25 lead at halftime. A huge part of VSU's run was a 22-13 advantage on the glass as the Trojans gathered 11 points in second chance opportunities compared to the Bears who registered just two in the opening half.
Shaw saw a 31-point deficit to start the second half as the Bears committed three consecutive turnovers and failed to score until the 15:18 mark when Kelsie hit a 3-pointer from the wing. The Bears trimmed the large margin to 12 after four straight baskets from Hinton with 8:08 remaining.
As time chipped away, the Bears continued to claw its way back by cutting the deficit down to single digits in the last 3:17 when Taylor hit a free throw but a poised Trojans team maintained control and was able to stop a Shaw comeback after with a jumper from Cedric Wiggins in the last 1:07 that ultimately put the lid on the cap for VSU.
The Trojans were led by Jahmere Howze with 28 points and 12 rebounds, he was named the game's most valuable player along with making the All-Tournament Team. Jalen Jackson registered 16 points and eight rebounds while Wiggins tallied 11 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals. Andrew Corum would round out the double figure scoring for the Trojans with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Additionally, Hinton and sophomore Alex Owens (Brandenton, FL) was named to the All-Tournament Team.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw men's basketball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.