LADY BEARS FALL SHORT AT VIRGINIA STATE, 66-59

Photo by Donald Watkins.
Photo by Donald Watkins.

ETTRICK, Va.  The Shaw University women's basketball team made a short resilient run in the fourth quarter, but ultimately came up short, dropping a non-conference matchup at Virginia State University, 66-59 at the VSU Multipurpose Center on Saturday night. The loss drops the Lady Bears to 3-5 while VSU move to 7-5.

Junior guard Ariana Fleming (Newark, DE) paced Shaw with 17 points (5-5 FG), 2-for-2 from the 3-point line and 5-of-6 from the free throw line off the bench. Senior guard Dejoria "DJ" Howard (Orangeburg, SC) added 12 points and seven rebounds while junior guard Rachelle White (Euclid, OH) chipped in 10 points and four rebounds to round out the double figure scoring for a Lady Bears team that shot 43-percent from the floor and 3-point line and 73-perecent from the charity stripe.

Shaw fell behind early 29-10 after the first quarter but the Lady Bears pulled within 15 points after using a 10-6 run, trailing 35-20 at halftime.

The Lady Bears chopped its deficit to single digits to start the third quarter with the help of back-to-back baskets from Howard that closed the gap to nine points with 7:47 left. The Trojans then scored five-straight until a jumper from junior guard Tyra Sinclair (Laurel, MD) snapped a scoring drought for Shaw. However, the Lady Bears still trailed VSU 46-37 at the end of the period.

Shaw gained momentum to start the fourth quarter, creating a 13-6 run including seven points from White and six from Fleming. VSU answered with a 3-pointer and a free throw, making the score 59-52 with 54 seconds remaining. With time running out, the Lady Bears forced the Trojans to earn their points from the charity strip, though, VSU would go a perfect 6-for-6 to earn the 66-59 win at the end of regulation.

Although Shaw forced 14 turnovers, VSU took the edge in points off of miscues with 17 points off of Shaw's 18. The Trojans were led by Yazmen Hannah with 16 points and six boards while Natalia Leaks added 13 points and six rebounds. Bianca White and Vaciseva Draunidalo contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Next, the Lady Bears will continue its road skid on Thursday, Dec 19 at Livingstone College for its conference division opener at 5:30 p.m. in Salisbury, NC.

For the most up-to-date information on Shaw athletics and its 13 varsity sport teams, visit www.shawbears.com.