Written by Antoine Lynch, Athletics Media Specialist
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Shaw University men's basketball team used a season-high 57 percent shooting outing from three-point range to end a three-game skid as the Bears defeated Elizabeth City State University 84-78 Thursday evening inside of historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.
With the win, Shaw improves to 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) action. ECSU falls to 6-4 overall and 0-1 in CIAA play.
Both teams opened the contest scoring efficiently with Shaw grabbing an early lead from ECSU and keeping the lead the rest of the contest. Senior guard Greyson Kelley (Raleigh, NC) knocked down a three to extend Shaw's lead to 25-21 over the Vikings with 9:35 left in the opening half. Kelley then hit five straight free throws to push the Bears lead to 35-25 before a layup from senior Imani Miller (Nashville, TN) and freshman Nigel Martin (Cleveland, OH) splitting a pair at the free throw line putting Shaw ahead 38-25 at the break.
The second half opened with an inspired Vikings squad determined to overcome a double-digit deficit just as they did during the first matchup between these teams on Nov.19 in which ECSU won. The Vikings opened the half with a quick 4-0 run. Senior sharpshooter DaVaughn Kelsie (Richmond, VA) ended the quick assault with his fourth basket from behind the arc. Shaw maintained a double-digit lead after the mini-run from ECSU before the Vikings responded out of a timeout to cut the Shaw lead to 51-41 with a 6-0 Vikings run.
Zacheus Hobbs from ECSU ignited the Vikings offense going on a 9-2 run by himself with three straight three point baskets to trim the Shaw lead to 53-46. Kelsie again came up with the timely baskets to push the Shaw lead 58:59 with 11:55 left. After cutting the Shaw lead to just four, more threes from Kelsie and senior forward Daniel Daniels (Sarasota, FL) briefly slowed down the ECSU threat. Leading by just one (71-70), Martin hit what would be the shot of the game hitting a deep three to push the Bears lead back to 74-70 with just over a minute left. The Bears were able to shoot an impressive 88-percent (22-25) behind the charity stripe putting away the Vikings for their first conference victory at 84-78.
Kelsie led the Bears with 26 points. Martin followed with 25 points, while Kelley and Miller finished with 13 and 12 respectively rounding out the double-digit scorers for the Bears.
The Bears will return to action on Saturday, Dec. 14 as Shaw travels to Virginia State. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. inside the VSU Multipurpose Center.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.