EDINBORO, Pa. – Aslea Williams had 22 points - 16 of them in the second half - to help Shaw down #22 Gannon 64-59 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament held at Edinboro University. With the win, the Lady Bears advance to the regional finals for the second straight year.
The win improves the second seeded Shaw's record to 25-6 while the Lady Knights fall to 22-7 as their season comes to an end.
The Lady Bears outshot Gannon, but only slightly, hitting 27 of their 60 shot attempts (45 percent). The Lady Knights hit 22 of 53 attempts (41.5 percent). Shaw held the advantage in rebounds, as well, pulling in 39 boards compared to Gannon's 34.
Shaw managed only one made shot from beyond the arc on six attempts while Gannon sank six of the 22 threes they attempted.
Early on, the game was close with two ties in the first six minutes of play. With 14:08 left in the first, Victoria Tanner found Crystal Harris under the basket for a short jumper that gave Shaw a 7-5 lead.
Gannon answered with a three from Brittany Batts to give the Lady Knights the only lead they would hold on the night.
Shaw scored ten straight , punctuated by a layup by Williams off a pass from Sequoyah Griffin to give the Lady Bears a 17-8 lead with 8:55 left in the first.
Ninety seconds later, the Bears extended the lead to 12, but the Lady Knights battled back, eventually trimming the lead to two when Kelsey McCoy hit a three to make the score 24-22 in favor of Shaw.
The Lady Bears scored the final four points in the half to take a 30-24 lead into the half.
Shaw opened the second half with a 6-2 run that extended their lead to 10 points on a short jumper by Kyria Buford.
With 15:52 left in the game, Williams hit a layup, was fouled and converted the three-point play by hitting the free throw to give the Lady Bears a 41-30 lead.
Gannon roared back, scoring 11 straight and, with 11:01 left in the contest, Jennifer Papich hit a jumper to tie the score at 41.
The Lady Bears scored the next five points and maintained that five-point lead for much of the rest of the half.
Brittney Spencer hit a layup for Shaw with 2:19 left that gave the Lady Bears a 60-52 lead, but the Lady Knights responded with seven straight points. With 54 seconds left in the contest, Shaw led by only one, 60-59.
Spencer scored the last four points of the game, giving Shaw the 64-59 win.
Williams had six rebounds to go with her 22 points. Spencer finished the game with 14 points. Harris had 11 rebounds to lead both squads and led the Lady Bears with three assists.
For the Lady Knights, Papich had 19 points and alone with Doriyon Glass led Gannon with seven rebounds. Kelley Sundberg paced both squads with five assists.
On Monday at 7:00 p.m., Shaw will take on host and number one seed Edinboro. The winner of that contest will advance to the Elite Eight in San Antonio, TX.