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SHEPHERD, W,Va. Senior guard Tahniya Sweatt (Pasadena, CA) scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds but the Shaw University women's basketball team dropped a 80-65 decision to Pitt-Johnstown in their season opener during the first day of the Conference Challenge.


The Lady Bears (0-1) started off the contest with a 4-0 lead with a layup from junior Victoria Swanson (Monmouth, OR) but the Mountain Cats evened the score at the 6:53 mark. PJU (1-0) took the lead on a layup from Maurina Nunn that led to a 15-9 run that provided PJU a 21-13 lead after the first quarter.


Shaw pulled within four on layup from freshman Amani Moxley (Moreno Valley, CA), forcing the Mountain Cats to call a timeout in the second quarter. Out the break, PJU used a 7-0 run to go ahead 34-23 in route to a 17-14 scoring margin for the Mountain Cats and a 38-27 lead over the Lady Bears at halftime.


PJU opened the third quarter with a layup to stretch its lead to 13 but senior KlinTisha Martin (Atlanta, GA) drilled a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 10 (40-30) with 8:49 on the clock. PJU maintained control of the stanza after a good jump shot from Nicole Olkosky but a relentless Lady Bears squad continued to fight using a 5-3 frame to trail 56-42 heading into the fourth quarter.


The Lady Bears continued to chip away at the deficit but the Mountain Cats registered three-straight 3-pointers beginning at the 6:21 of the final frame that Shaw could not match down the stretch. A 3-pointer from Sweatt got Shaw within (68-50) but it would be the closest Shaw would get for the remainder of the way.


Shaw will return to action Saturday, Nov. 10 against Shepherd at 2 p.m. to conclude the Conference Challenge.


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