Lady Shaw Bears win third straight CIAA basketball championship
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Shaw University Lady Bears won their third straight CIAA Championship following a 72-53 victory over Fayetteville State in the title game on Saturday afternoon at Time Warner Cable Arena.
The Lady Bears outscored the Lady Broncos 42-27 in the second half to win their eighth CIAA Championship in the last 11 years. The win improves Shaw, the No. 2 seed from the Southern Division, to 25-4 overall while Fayetteville State, the No. 1 seed from the Southern Division, drops to 24-6 overall.
Shaw was led by three players in double figures with Crystal Wilson and Crystal Harris leading the way with 18 points apiece. Taylor Dalrymple chimed in with 16 points and eight rebounds and was named the Most Valuable Player for the Tournament.
“We knew it was going to be a battle of rebounds and free throws,” said Shaw head coach Jacques Curtis. “When we lost to them the first time, they outrebounded us and shot more free throws than we did. When we played them the second time, we out rebounded them and shot more free throws. So we knew the key to the game had nothing to do with putting the ball in the basket, it had to do with us not putting them on the line as much.”
The Lady Bears pulled down 48 rebounds compared to 41 for Fayetteville State. From the charity stripe, the Lady Bears were 18-of-22 while the Lady Broncos were 10-of-11.
Fayetteville State was led by Akysia Resper, who finished with a team-high 16 points. Alicia Person added 11 points in the loss. The reigning CIAA Player of the Year Kristen Hanzer was limited to just eight points and was held scoreless until midway through the second half.
“What we got from Shaw is what we expected,” said Fayetteville State head coach Eva Patterson-Heath. “I’d like to congratulate them for winning a third CIAA Championship. I put the word ‘relentless’ on the board at the start of the game. I feel like at times it did not apply. We just did not attack, as was demonstrated in 11 attempts at the free throw line.”
After a three-pointer from Akysia Resper gave the Lady Broncos the early 3-0 lead, the Lady Bears responded with a 6-0 run to take a three-point lead thanks to a layup from Crystal Wilson at the 15:19 mark of the first half.
An off balance jumper from Dalrymple tied the game up at 8, sparking a 10-0 run that helped propel the Lady Bears to an eight-point lead. Kearah Jeffreys buried back-to-back jumpers, with the last one coming with 9:06 left to give Shaw the 16-8 lead.
Resper buried another three-pointer to bring FSU within five at 16-11 with 8:33 left in the period. Dalrymple pushed Shaw’s lead back to seven when she drained a jumper.
The Lady Broncos cut it back down to five when Shuanda Ashford drilled a shot from the post to make it 18-13. The Lady Bears answered with a 6-0 run to build a 24-13 lead with 6:01 remaining in the period.
The Lady Broncos responded with a 13-3 over the next five minutes run to get back within one thanks to a layup from Je’Lena Robertson, which made it 27-26 at the 1:09 mark.
Harris scored the final three points of the half on a layup and a free throw to give the Lady Bears a 30-26 advantage at halftime.
The Lady Bears opened the second half on a 10-2 run to go up nine. A three-point play the old fashioned way from Crystal Gordon gave the Lady Bears a 37-28 cushion with 16:28 remaining in the game.
After FSU’s Tierra Coleman sank a pair of free throws to bring the Lady Broncos within seven, Harris and Wilson scored the next four points for the Lady Bears to increase their lead back to double digits. Wilson snagged down an offensive rebound and hit a jumper with 14:35 remaining to give Shaw a 41-30 lead.
A pair of free throws from Dalrymple gave Shaw another 13-point lead before Shuanda Ashford responded with a layup on the other end to bring the Lady Broncos within 11.
After a three-point play by Wilson and a layup from Harris extended Shaw’s lead to 16 at 48-32, the Lady Broncos scored the next four points to get back within 10 after a layup from Kristen Hanzer for her first points of the game, which came at the 10:09 mark.
The Lady Bears answered with an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 18. A steal from Jeffreys and a layup from Diamond Mitchell gave Shaw a 56-38 with 8:04 left in the contest.
Person ended a three minute stretch without a field goal when she buried a jumper to bring the Lady Broncos within 16 with 7:05 remaining.
After a layup from Harris increased the Lady Bears’ lead to 18 at 58-40, Hanzer brought it back down to 15 with a three-pointer at the 6:19 mark. Thirteen seconds later, David converted a layup to push it back to 17 at 60-43.
The Lady Bears went on a 9-5 run over the next three minutes to build a 21-point lead. Dalrymple’s layup at the 2:23 mark made it 69-48.
A three-pointer by Hanzer made it an 18-point game before Harris made it a 20-point margin with a layup with 58 seconds left. Gordon sank 1-of-2 free throws to extend Shaw’s lead to 21 with 11 seconds left.
A late bucket from Robertson brought it back down to 19 with one tick left. When the buzzer rang, the Lady Bears celebrated the victory.