RALEIGH, N.C. -  The Shaw University women's basketball team clinched their first conference win of the 2017-18 season with a 72-68 edge over the visiting Lady Vikings of Elizabeth City State University Thursday night in the historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.


The victory put Shaw at 1-1 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) and 3-6 overall. ECSU dropped to 6-5 overall and 0-1 in the CIAA.


Junior Raquel Kellow (Conroe, TX) and senior LaQuisha Taylor (Charlotte, NC) secured the contest for the Lady Bears with free-throws in the last 11 seconds of the game. Taylor drained two while Kellow knocked down 1-of-2.


Taylor finished the game with a team-best 22-points and 12 rebounds, her third double-double of the season. In her season debut as a Lady Bear, junior Lervencia Johnson-Tyler () put up 14-points, eight rebounds, seven steals, seven blocks and four assists. Kellow added 11 points while senior Chelsea Long (Melbourne, FL) chipped in 10 points to round out the double figure scoring for Shaw.


The Lady Bears trailed 8-2 in the opening quarter but a 3-pointer from senior Aliyah Cooley (Brooklyn, NY) pulled Shaw within three (8-3) in the first four minutes. The lead changed six times as the first quarter resulted in the games third tie at 17-17.


Shaw knotted up the score two times but the Lady Bears continued to trail until a tip-in by Cooley ignited a 5-0 run that put Shaw ahead 34-33 at halftime.


In the third stanza, the Lady Bears outscored a 20-18 but the fourth quarter went down to the wire as both teams exchanged baskets throughout the frame. The Lady Bears took a lead of four points (64-60) but ECSU's Jalyn Brown drilled a 3-pointer to pull the Lady Vikings within one with 4:11 left to play.


ECSU took the lead on a layup but Kellow responded from long distance to put Shaw back on top 67-65 as 3:15 remained on the clock. The Lady Vikings would not go away just yet after Devona Stell hit 1-of-2 free-throws and then a jumper from Alexis Fowler to keep the deficit at one point. However, Shaw's stifling defense resulted in a ECSU turnover and a Lady Bears made free-throw. On the ensuing possession, a missed 3-pointer ended up in the hands of the Lady Bears and a pair of free-throws from Taylor that sealed the deal.


Brown led the offensive attack for ESCU with a game-high 26 points while Bridgejae Patterson and Stell tallied 10 points apiece. Defensively, Tantania Brown recorded 10 rebounds.


Shaw will look to carry their winning momentum into the Lynn University Holiday Classic on Dec. 17-18. The Lady Bears will face Saint Leo on Sunday at 12 noon, followed by a tip-off with Lynn at 2 p.m. on Monday.


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