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RALEIGH, N.C.   The Shaw University women's basketball team will begin its 2018-19 season on Friday, Nov. 9 – Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Conference Challenge hosted by Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W. Va. The Lady Bears will take on Pitt-Johnstown on Friday at 1 p.m., followed by a tilt with Shepherd on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the campus Shepherd.

The Lady Bears are coming off a 6-23 overall record in 2017-18 and will look to improve upon that mark with the addition of nine newcomers and two starters from a season ago in senior guards Tahniya Sweatt (Pasadena, CA) and KlinTisha Martin (Atlanta, GA) who posted 11.8 and 11.1 points per game, respectively.

Shaw was recently picked to finish 12th overall in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Conference.

Pitt-Johnstown, a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) opens the 2018-19 slate coming off a 10-17 overall record in last season's campaign. The Mountain Cats were predicted to finish eighth in the PSAC Wester Division, returning four starters and 10 letter-winners including Gabrielle Smith who was the team's leader in scoring with an average of 14.5 ppg.

Friday's clash will mark the third consecutive time that both Shaw and Pitt-Johnstown will meet in the season opener with Shaw winning in 2016-17 but the Mountain Cats taking last year's meeting by the score of 75-60.

Shepherd is coming off a 15-15 overall record last year. As member of the Mountain East Conference (MEC), the Rams were predicted to finish 10th in the conference's Preseason Poll. SU averaged 68.0 points per game while its opponents tallied 72.6 points per outing. Kayla Tibb's was the team's second leading scorer with 11.1 ppg.

Shaw and Shepherd met last season in the Conference Challenge on Nov. 12, 2017 with the Rams taking a 85-61 win over the Lady Bears in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Following this weekend's challenge, Shaw will host a tournament in C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 featuring Virginia State University, Clark Atlanta University and the University of Puerto Rico.

For the most up-to-date information on Shaw women's basketball and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit