SHEPHERDSTOWN, WVa. – No. 25 Shaw University women's basketball team came up short with the 74-72 loss to the University of Pitt-Johnstown in the Conference Challenge and season opener Friday afternoon.
Shaw falls to 0-1 on the season, while Pitt-Johnstown improves to 1-0 on the year.
Junior Chelsea Long (Rockledge, FL) led all scorers with 23 points and seven rebounds, while junior's Falecia Cabral (Pawcatock, CT) and Bianca Maxwell (London, England) tallied 13 points each. Maxwell also grabbed 10 rebounds and Cabral collected seven rebounds. Freshman Stephanie Custodio (Chino, CA) added 10 points and a team-best 11 rebounds to round out the double-digit scoring for Shaw.
Despite the loss, the Lady Bears held advantages over the Lady Cats in free-throws made (17-14), rebounds (46-37) and steals (8-5).
The Lady Cats raced out to a 16-3 lead over Shaw in the opening minutes. The Lady Bears responded with a 12-3 run of its own led by two free-throws from freshman Caresha Leonard (Nashville, NC) to cut Pitt-Johnstown lead 19-14 with 1:08 left in the first quarter but Shaw would trail 23-15 heading into the second stanza.
In the second quarter, the Lady Cats went on a 5-2 run before Shaw scored the next six points to stay within distance. The next possession down, Pitt-Johnstown nailed a three-pointer by Nicole Corcoran prior to her second of the quarter as time expired to give the Lady Cats a nine point advantage at intermission.
Trailing 38-29, the Lady Bears looked to get ahead of the game after shooting 55.6 percent from the floor and from behind the arc but the Lady Cats also shot 55.6 percent from the field and 62.5 from the three-point line in the third quarter as both teams scored a total of 25 points each to end the quarter. Shaw would trail the Lady Cats, 63-54 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Bears trailed by as many as 13 points before grooming a 14-4 run to get within four points with 16 seconds remaining. A steal by freshman Lillian Smith (Newport News, VA) led to teammate and junior Brianna Washington (Woodbridge, VA) sinking two-free throws to cut the lead 74-72 with 10 seconds left but the Lady Bears were unable to tie the game as time expired for Shaw.
The Lady Cats had five players finish in double-digit scoring, including Corcoran who finished with 15 points. Victoria Moreland tallied 14 points and seven rebounds, while both Laurel O'Barto and Jamie Tabon netted 13 points apiece and Madion Kollar added 11 points for Pitt-Johnstown.
Shaw will close out the Conference Challenge on Saturday against Shepherd at 3 p.m.
For more information on Shaw women's basketball and its 11 varsity sports, visit www.shawbears.com.