[Canyon, TX] - Shaw battled back from an 11-point deficit to tie Abilene Christian with 40 seconds left in the game, but the Wildcats closed the game with four straight points, sending the Lady Bears to a 70-66 defeat at the West Texas Golf Cars Lady Buffs Holiday Classic held on the campus of West Texas A&M University.
The Lady Bears trailed at halftime by two, but that deficit was quickly stretched to 11 by the Wildcats. With 40 seconds left in the game, Aslea Williams hit a layup to tie the score at 66. Shaw then fouled to stop the clock, but ACU hit four free throws while the Lady Bears fell cold, missing two shots in those closing seconds.
The loss takes the Lady Bears to 3-4 on the season while Abilene Christian evens their record at 5-5.
For much of the game, the Lady Bears struggled inside, failing to develop a strong post presence. They were outscored in the paint 36-30 and outrebounded 47-39. Shaw was able to stay in the game through a strong defensive presence that forced 19 Wildcat turnovers. In contrast, the Lady Bears turned the ball over 12 times.
Early in the game, Shaw took control, building a 16-9 lead when Brittany Ransom hit a layup. The Wildcats answered with six straight points, cutting the Shaw lead to one.
With 6:19 left in the first, Alyssa Lane got the ball on the fastbreak and drove the lane for a layup that gave Shaw a four-point, 23-19, lead.
ACU responded quickly, scoring eight straight points, culminating with Cecilee Perez's fastbreak layup that made the score 27-23 in favor of the Wildcats. Abilene Christian would take a 29-27 advantage to the locker room at the half.
ACU opened the second half with a nine-point scoring run which ended only when Lane hit a jumper to cut the Wildcat lead to nine, 38-29.
The two teams would effectively trade baskets for the next five minutes. With 11:13 left in the game, Kelsey Smith hit a pair of free throws to extend the ACU lead to nine.
Brittany Ransom then hit a pair of three-pointers for the Lady Bears, followed by another fastbreak layup from Lane to cut the ACU lead to only one.
The Wildcats tore off another scoring run - this one of eight points - that gave them a seven-point lead. The Lady Bears would eventually fight back, tying it with 1:40 left in the game on a Williams layup and again at 40 seconds on another Williams layup. The Wildcats hit their final four free throws to take the win.
Four Lady Bears finished the evening having scored in double digits. Williams led Shaw with 16 points while Ransom had 15, Sequoyah Griffin 13 and Lane 10. Buford led the Lady Bears with 11 rebounds. Griffin had four assists to pace Shaw.
Four Wildcats also scored in double digits. Smith had 14, Paige Parliament 12, Hillari Adam 11 and Renata Marquez 10. With 13 rebounds, Marquez turned in a double-double. Shelby Shipley had four assists to lead ACU.
The Lady Bears return to action tomorrow when they take on host West Texas A&M at the West Texas Golf Cars Lady Buffs Holiday Classic. Game time is 7:00 p.m.