RALEIGH, N.C. – It took two overtimes, but Shaw finally found both offensive momentum and defensive prowess, claiming a 92-84 victory against Fayetteville State in a packed and raucous C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium on Monday night.
The win is the team’s 13th in a row and the third overtime win in five games. With the win, the Bears — ranked 17th in the DII coaches’ poll — improve to 17-2 overall, 9-0 in the CIAA and 3-0 in the Southern Division. Fayetteville State drops to 4-12, 2-6 in the conference and 0-3 in the division.
“I think when an athlete wins this many in a row, it can become easy to take teams for granted — especially if you’re new to the league,” said Shaw head coach Cleo Hill, Jr. “I think we took them too lightly.”
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 17 Shaw 92, Fayetteville State 84 (2OT)|
|No. 19 Bowie State 58, Virginia State 48|
|No. 23 Fort Hays State 62, Missouri Western 58|
“We executed poorly. Our execution has me scratching my head. This was our worst day for execution offensively,” Hill said.
As for the defense?
“We can play defense, we just have offensive-minded guys,” Hill said.
The Broncos broke on top early, building a 13-4 lead five minutes into the contest.
“I knew they were going to jump out on us early. I told the team I wasn’t going to call a time out,” Hill said. “It was up to them to get out of it.”
It took the Bears most of the half to eliminate the deficit. With 4:43 left in the half, Junius Chaney hit a layup to tie the score at 31. They would eventually go into the locker room trailing 39-38.
The second half played out in a string of scoring runs, first by one team, then the other. With the Broncos up 46-42, Derrick Hunter hit a jumper to begin what would become a 13-2 run. When Malik Alvin hit a three with 12:06 remaining in regulation, the Bears held a 55-48 lead.
Fayetteville State scored the next seven points to tie the game, then the Bears scored another eight unanswered, including six from Alvin, to rebuild the Bears lead to 63-55. FSU answered with a 10-2 run to tie the score again with 2:46 left in the game. The two teams would exchange buckets the rest of the way, heading into the first overtime tied at 69.
The first overtime was a low-scoring affair, with each team only managing six points. FSU took the early lead, with Tyrrell Tate’s layup giving the Broncos a 73-69 lead. The Bears came back on free throws, tying the game when Chaney hit one of two free throws.
Tate hit a pair of free throws with 1:04 left to give the Broncos back the lead, but with 12 seconds left, Alvin hit a pair of free throws of his own to tie the mark. FSU had one last chance for the win, but its shot was off the mark, setting up the second overtime with the score tied at 75.
Whatever the first overtime lacked in offense, the second overtime had in spades. The Bears offense finally clicked midway through the overtime. With 2:48 left in the period, Dominique Johnson hit a layup for FSU which cut the Shaw lead to 80-78. The Bears scored the next eight points — four from Mohammed Abdur-Rahim — to take a commanding lead with 56 seconds left in the game.
FSU then scored four straight points to trim the Shaw lead to seven with 47 seconds left, but Alvin hit a layup on the fastbreak to stop the Bronco scoring run and cement the Shaw win.
Ten of the 11 players who made it into the game for Shaw scored, led by Alvin with 26 points. Tony Smith had 21 and Karron Johnson added another ten. Johnson led the squad with nine rebounds and Smith had eight assists to lead both teams.
Tim Plummer led Fayetteville State with 19 points. Tate finished with 16. Ten of 14 FSU players who got into the game scored. Sidney Evans topped the Broncos with nine rebounds, and Andre Best had three assists.