RALEIGH, NC – Junior LaQuisha Taylor (Charlotte, NC) scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Shaw University women's basketball team to a 71-67 victory over the visiting Fayetteville State University Lady Broncos Wednesday evening inside a packed C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium. The Lady Bears were able to hang on in the last final minute of the game after giving up a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
With the victory, Shaw (7-14, 4-5 CIAA) stands 2-2 in the Southern Division, while the Lady Broncos (4-15, 3-6 CIAA) remain winless within the division.
Taylor was 7-of-8 from the field tonight, including 3-of-3 from the three-point line and 3-of-4 from the foul line. In addition, Taylor recorded seven rebounds and six steals. Freshman Stephanie Custodio (Chino, CA) chipped in 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while junior Chelsea Long (Melbourne, FL) added 12 points off the bench and senior Imani Heggins contributed 10 points, four rebounds and three blocks. Junior Bianca Maxwell (London, England) registered a team-best 12 rebounds in the win.
The Lady Bears finished the game shooting 48 percent (24-of-50) from the field, 55.6 percent (5-of-9) long distance and 85.7 percent (18-of-21) from the charity stripe.
Shaw trailed 12-6 in the opening but the Lady Bears closed the gap on a 6-2 run before taking its first lead of the game on a three-pointer from Taylor at the 2:46 mark. Shaw would go on to lead 19-16 over the Lady Broncos at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Bears scored eight-straight to start the second quarter before FSU finally scored its first basket of the quarter on a layup from Kara Straite with 7:06 showing on the clock. Shaw would lead by as many as 11 points on two occasions before the Lady Broncos rattled to cut the deficit and eventually tie the game at 33-33 with 1:06 remaining in the first half. FSU would go into the locker room with a 35-33 lead after a layup from Shantel Bennett.
At halftime, FSU held a 22-14 advantage in the paint. The Lady Broncos outscored Shaw 15-11 from its bench and secured 18 points off of the Lady Bears turnovers. De'Aira Smith led the way for FSU with 12 points at the break, while Taylor paced Shaw with 11 points.
In the third quarter, the Lady Bears bounced back from an eight point deficit as Long knocked down a three-pointer to tie the contest at 51-51 with 3:06 left in the quarter. An 11-4 run by the Lady Bears, including two three-pointer from Taylor gave Shaw a 59-55 lead heading in the fourth quarter.
Shaw led by 10 points with 6:43 remaining but the Lady Broncos stuck around to pull within two points after a layup from Bennett. FSU had opportunities to tie or take the lead but a turnover by the Lady Broncos led to Maxwell going to the line for two. She would sink them both with 16 seconds left to secure the Lady Bears to victory.
Smith paced FSU with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Breona Jones and Bennett tallied 12 points apiece in the loss.
Shaw will return to action Saturday, Jan. 28 when the Lady Bears travel to Charlotte, NC to face Johnson C. Smith University at 2 p.m.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw University women's basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.