WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Freshman Stephanie Custodio (Chino, CA) poured a game-high 19 points to help lift the Shaw University women's basketball team to a 64-53 victory over Florida Tech Monday afternoon to conclude the PBA Holiday Hoops Classic. The win snaps a six-game losing skid for the Lady Bears as they improve to 3-10 on the season while FIT falls to 6-5 on the year.
Senior Imani Heggins (Chesapeake, VA) chipped in 15 points and six rebounds while freshman Lillian Smith (Newport News, VA) added a career-high 14 points. Junior Bianca Maxwell (London, England) registered a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with nine points.
Shaw trailed 6-2 in the opening quarter before the Lady Bears made a 9-4 run to take its first lead of the game at 11-10 with 2:39 left. The game would tie for the second time in the first quarter prior to a jumper from Tereza Sedlakova that gave the Panthers a one-point advantage (17-16) heading into the second frame.
A 3-pointer from junior Falecia Cabral (Pawcatock, CT) gave Shaw the lead again, followed by another 3-pointer from junior Chelsea Long (Melbourne, FL) as the Lady Bears led 22-19 with 6:36 remaining in the first half. Shaw would build a seven point lead after Smith scored two-straight baskets but FIT answered back with four-straight of its own to cut the deficit to three. Heggins scored the first half's final four points to give Shaw a 34-27 command at halftime.
The Lady Bears controlled the third quarter despite the Panthers clawing to get within one point on an 8-2 run which would be the closest FIT would get for the remainder of the quarter. Shaw embarked on a 10-point lead with 1:14 left before closing out the third frame with a 48-39 lead.
Two free-throws by Custodio gave Shaw its largest lead of the game at 11 points in the final 8:18. FIT trimmed at the Lady Bears lead to pull within six points but Shaw's offensive stability proved to be difference as the Lady Bears was able to secure the win.
For the contest, Shaw's bench outscored its opponent 17-7, the Lady Bears held a 20-9 ratio off of the Panthers miscues while scoring 28 points in the paint compared to FIT's 20.
Florida Tech was paced by Aniquah Swan who had 14 points and Julie McCarthy contributed 11 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Shaw will close out the 2016 slate with a road contest at Francis Marion on Dec. 29 at 4 p.m. for its non-conference finale.
Visit www.shawbears.com for the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's basketball and its 11 varsity sports.