CHARLOTTE, NC – In the last six years, the Shaw University women's basketball team has competed in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) women's basketball championship and have won the last four of five, the Lady Bears will now return to the big stage after earning a 86-77 victory over Chowan University on Friday afternoon in the women's semifinal round held in Time Warner Cable Arena.
Shaw (24-6) will face the winner of either Virginia Union or Livingstone in the championship game on Saturday, Feb. 27 in Time Warner Cable Arena with a tip-off scheduled for 4 p.m.
Senior Kaula Jacks (Chesapeake Beach, MD) led the Lady Bears in scoring with 19 points, six rebounds and four assists, while junior Aaliyah Mercer (Bronx, NY) poured 16 points and six rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Laquisha Taylor (Charlotte, NC) and senior Eboni Ross (Columbia, SC) both charted 13 points apiece, while Ross snatched a game-high 12 rebounds in the contest. Mercer was named the Food Lion MVP, while Jacks was presented with the Marine Corps Excellence and Leadership award for her outstanding leadership on and off the court.
Alisha Mobley scored 19 points for the Hawks in the setback while grabbing nine rebounds. Dhyamond Crenshaw scored 15 points for the Chowan Blue and White while Jada Lee and Shaikeyla Jordan added 14 points and 12 points, respectively. Jordan Payne netted 11 points for the Hawks and grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Lady Bears opened up the contest on an 8-0 run, including back-to-back 3-pointers before the Hawks finally got on the board off a layup from Payne at the 7:58 mark. Shaw would then go onto lead by as many as 10-points in the quarter after junior Michelle Wright (Baltimore, MD) knocked down a 3-pointer with 2:11 left.
The Lady Bears outscored the Hawks 6-1 in the paint, 6-1 in points off of turnovers, while producing a 7-1 ratio in bench points to lead 23-14 going into the second quarter.
Chowan had no answer for Shaw in the second stanza as the Lady Bears notched a 13-4 run that resulted in a 18-point lead with 3:40 left. Shaw would go into the locker room with a 24-point lead (46-22) at the break.
For the first half, Shaw shot 52 percent from the floor (19-of-32), while connecting 3-of-6 (50 percent) from behind the arc compared to the Hawks 21 percent from the field (7-of-32) and 3-of-10 (30 percent) shooting from the three point line.
The Lady Bears started the second half, a little sluggish with a series of turnovers and fouls that would allow the Hawks to slowly carve the lead. Chowan cut the lead to 16-points after scoring six unanswered points with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Chowan refused to go away quietly in the final stanza. With Shaw holding a 68-48 lead, Jordan's three-pointer orchestrated a 10-0 run for the Hawks, making the score 68-58 with 7:59 left to play before a jumper by Ross snapped a scoring drought for Shaw.
The Hawks got within nine points after Mobley drained a three-pointer (70-61) with 7:23 on the clock but that would the closest Chowan would get for the remainder of the contest as the Lady Bears calmly maintained a lead of 10 points or more to secure the 86-77 victory.
For the most up-to-date information Shaw basketball and it's 11 varsity sport teams, visit shawbears.com.