[Greeneville, TN] - Shaw women's basketball team struggled with turnovers and fouls as they lost to Tusculum 68-61 at Pioneer Arena on Tusculum's campus.
The win over Shaw is Tusculum's second win in a row over a nationally ranked opponent. On Friday, the Pioneers defeated the number one team in Division II, Clayton State - last year's champion and the team that knocked Shaw out of the NCAA Tournament. Shaw, ranked 11th coming into the game, is now 1-1 on the season while the Pioneers improve to 4-0 on the year.
Shaw was plagued by both foul trouble and turnovers. The Lady Bears turned over the ball 22 times, and sent the Pioneers to the line 34 times during the game. Fortunately for Shaw, Tusculum hit only 19 of those attempts, or the score could have been more lopsided. Shaw did not shoot any better, hitting only nine of their 16 attempts.
The turning point of the game came with eight minutes left in the game, when Aslea Williams fouled out. Williams had already collected 12 points and 12 rebounds, and her inside presence had been key for the Lady Bears. In the two minutes after her exit from the game, the Bears were outscored 10-1. While the Lady Bears would close the deficit to four, they never got closer and wound up losing by seven.
The Bears jumped to an early 7-5 lead, but the Pioneers answered with a 16-4 run, including a stretch where they scored nine unanswered.
Tusculum responded with a seven-point run, giving them a 28-24 lead when Alishia Mosely hit a jumper in the paint to give the Pioneers a 28-24 lead. The Lady Bears would get another bucket before the half, but went into the locker room trailing 28-26.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Tusculum managed to keep a small lead - seesawing between one and three points. Six and a half minutes into the half, Ransom hit two three-pointers, allowing the Bears to tie the score a 42 with 13:13 left in the game.
Nequoiah Anderson answered with a three for the Pioneers, giving them a three-point lead. Isayra Diaz hit a trey and a free throw to give the Lady Bears the lead, and after a minute and a half with no one scoring, Alyssa Lane hit a jumper to stretch the Shaw lead to three, 48-45.
Trailing by one with eight minutes left in the game, Shaw's Williams and two minutes later, the Lady Bears trailed 62-52. With 4:52 left in the game, Brittney Spencer sank a jumper to end the scoring drought and make the score 62-54 in favor of Tusculum.
The Pioneers would extend the lead to as many as ten, but the Lady Bears trimmed it to four with 38 second left. Spencer then collected a foul and a technical foul and the Pioneers hit three of the resulting four shots, giving them the 68-61 final.
Ransom finished the game with 22 points, while Williams had the double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. Spencer had four assists to lead the Lady Bears.
Staci Hicks led Tusculum with 15 points and Kendal Baxter added another 13. Hicks also collected 11 rebounds for a double-double of her own.
The Lady Bears are idle until December 13, when they travel to Fort Lauderdale, FL to take on Nova Southeastern at 7:00 p.m.
Photos: Brittany Ransom (left) had 22 points while Aslea Williams (right) had a double-double with 12 points and rebounds.