RALEIGH, N.C. – Trailing by double digits by as much as 12 points in the second half, the Shaw University women's basketball team held a tough battle back from a nine point deficit in the fourth quarter but that comeback bid fell just short as the Meredith College Avenging Angels escaped a packed Spaulding Gymnasium with a 79-77 win over Shaw Saturday afternoon.
The loss gives Shaw a 0-1 start on the very young season while Meredith improves to 2-2 on the year.
Junior guard Ariana Fleming (Newark, DE) paced the Lady Bears in scoring with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists while junior forward Diamononique Kennedy (Beggs, OK) chipped in 19 points and five boards. Junior forward Zari Mays (Americus, GA) would round out the double figure scoring for Shaw with 11 points and three rebounds.
Shaw held a 21-20 lead in the first quarter but Meredith outscored Shaw 17-9 capped off by 42.9-percent shooting and 12 points each from Kimberly Schuh and Kate Perko in the second stanza to 37-30 over the Lady Bears at halftime.
The Lady Bears rattled off its largest deficit of the game by using a 9-4 scoring frame capped off by a corner 3-pointer from junior guard Morgan Cobb (Baltimore, MD) to pull Shaw within five (56-51) heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth stanza, Meredith had built its lead back up to double digits when Schuh scored a layup with 6:40 left in the game. However, the Lady Bears never got flustered, orchestrating a 13-3 spurt that tied the contest at 71-all as 3:47 showed remaining.
The game would see four ties in the final three minutes, including its last at 77-77 Kennedy scored off of a Lady Bears offensive rebound with 11.1 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Meredith got a shot off and had two players follow up on the glass as Lindsay Bell connected on the jumper with four seconds left on the clock.
Shaw had one final chance to even the score but Fleming's jumper hit the front iron as the buzzer sounded off.
Schuh led the way for Meredith with 36 points and six rebounds while Perko added 20 points and 12 rebounds and Bell tallied 18 points and three rebounds.
Shaw will return to action on Monday, Nov. 18 with another home contest against Carver Bible at 6 p.m. in Spaulding.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.