SU
Buford

EDINBORO, Pa. -- Kyria Buford, Aslea Williams and Brittany Ransom each scored 20 or more points, but it was a stifling second-half defense that made the difference as Shaw downed West Virginia Wesleyan in the first round of the NCAA tournament, 98-72.

"It's always good to advance," Shaw head coach Jacques Curtis said. "Everyone here is a good team. What we saw on the tape is pretty much the game we got."

Shaw struggled to put the Lady Bobcats away in the first, but after giving up 49 points in the first half, they held West Virginia Wesleyan to only 29 points in the second.

The first half was a back and forth affair with little defense, sharp shooting and high scores. Shaw's largest lead was midway through the first half when Ransom hit a three from the left wing to give the Lady Bears a 22-17 lead.

With 3:03 left in the first half, Danae Hill hit a three for the Lady Bobcats to give them a four-point advantage -- their largest lead in the first -- at 44-40.

In those closing three minutes, Shaw outscored WVWC 10-5 to take a one-point, 50-49 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Lady Bobcats took a lead on the opening shot of the period, but would not lead again. Buford responded with a bucket that gave Shaw the lead and started what would become a 22-8 run that gave Shaw a 72-59 lead on a short jumper from Williams.

WVWC would score the next 11 points to trim the Shaw lead to only two when Lydia Bridenbaugh hit a three to make the score 72-70.

The Lady Bears not only held off the Lady Bobcats, but -- after an exchange of buckets -- scored 14 consecutive points. With 4:15 left in the game, Buford hit a three to give Shaw an 88-72 lead. 

Buford finished the game with 28 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and four assists.

Williams finished with 22 points and Ransom added 20. Sequoyah Griffin also finished in double digits with 10 points. Brittney Spencer led the Lady Bears with six assists.

Four Lady Bobcats scored in double digits, led by Bridenbaugh with 27 while Jamie Kaufman had 18. Daria Abros'kina and Brittany Maxey each had 11 points. Kaufman had 10 rebounds and Abros'kina totaled nine assists to pace WVWC.