CHARLOTTE, NC. – The Shaw University women's basketball team used a stifling defensive effort in the second half to earn a 61-43 victory over Winston-Salem State University in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) women's basketball quarterfinal round in Time Warner Cable Arena Wednesday. The Lady Bears will advance to the semifinal round of the tournament for the sixth consecutive time.
The Lady Bears were down by as many as 10-points in the first half before surging to a 41-17 scoring advantage in the second half. Shaw outscored the Lady Rams 28-10 in the paint and tallied 33 points off of WSSU's 30 miscues.
Senior guard Tabatha Anderson (Manhattan Beach, CA) led all players in the contest with 16 points, including 7-of-9 shooting from the charity stripe to be named the game's Most Valuable Player presented by Food Lion. Junior Michelle Wright (Baltimore, MD) added 13 points, while senior Eboni Ross (Columbia, SC) notched nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds in the win.
The Lady Bears got off to a sluggish start as they found themselves trailing 6-0 early in the first quarter. A free-throw Anderson gave the Lady Bears their first point of the contest with 7:19 left in the opening quarter.
Down by five points (6-1), Shaw relied heavily on their defense to get them back into the game when Bryann Guyton (Richfield, MN) was able to provide some energy off the bench for Shaw as the Lady Bears tied the contest at 6-all off a 5-0 run.
WSSU would hold a 9-6 lead to start the second quarter but the Lady Bears got within three points at the 8:50 mark before turnovers and a lack of effort saw WSSU take a 15-8 lead with 7:34 remaining in the first half.
Shaw allowed WSSU to build their largest lead of the contest, posting a 10-point lead (26-16) in the final 1:02 before the Lady Bears scored four-straight points to cut the deficit, 20-26 at halftime.
Turnovers and missed free-throws plagued the Lady Bears in the first half; Shaw acquired 15 miscues and shot 1-of-9 from the foul line for a season-low 11-percent.
Looking to regroup in the second half, the Lady Bears went on a 4-0 run to start the third quarter but the Lady Rams continued to hold onto a small lead.
After closing the gap to one-point three times, with the last time at the 3:03 mark, the Lady Bears took their first lead of the contest after Wright knocked down three free-throws that would produce a 40-35 lead for Shaw at the end of third quarter.
In the final stanza, Shaw established a 13-5 run with just a little over three minutes left to never look back to take the 18-point victory.
Brionna Pate led WSSU in scoring with 12 points and four rebounds, while Jasmine Carter contributed 10 points and five rebounds in the loss.
The Lady Bears will meet Chowan University in the semifinal round on Friday, Feb. 26th at 1 p.m. in Time Warner Cable Arena.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit shawbears.com.