Shaw gets defensive, downs Cal (Pa.)
Lady Bears force 24 turnovers to key second half surge
EDINBORO, Pa. -- It was clear early on that if Shaw wanted to continue its NCAA Tournament run, it was going to have to do it in a much different way than it had in the first round.
After routing No. 1 seed Edinboro Friday, the Lady Bears had to claw their way back into the game late, going on a 14-2 run midway through the second half to down No. 5 seed California (Pa.) 70-63 in a game played at McComb Fieldhouse on the campus of Edinboro University.
The Lady Bears (23-11) advanced to the Sweet 16, where they will play - for the fourth time this season - Johnson C. Smith. The Vulcans end their season with a 23-8 mark.
The difference for the Lady Bears came in the second half, when they forced 15 of California's 24 turnovers, scoring 23 points off of turnovers in the second half alone.
Shaw again took advantage of their size inside, pushing the ball into the lane and scoring 34 points in the paint, compared to only 16 for the Vulcans.
California broke on top early, but the Lady Bears fought back and kept the lead within sight for most of the first 10 minutes. With 11:14 left in the first, Brittney Spencer hit a free throw to put the Lady Bears on top 20-17, but the Vulcans went on an 11-4 run to retake the lead.
With 29 seconds left in the first half, Brittany Ransom hit a three to cut the California lead to three, 36-33, at the half.
The Lady Bears trimmed the lead to a single point with the opening bucket of the second half. During the first five minutes, the Lady Bears would cut that lead to one, but never turned the deficit into an advantage.
With 14:41 left, Kyria Buford hit a jumper to again trim the lead to one, but the Vulcans hit consecutive 3s to stretch their lead to seven with 13:13 left in the game. With 12:09 left, they'd extended the lead to eight, 52-44.
The Lady Bears, powered by Demaria Liles' inside game, scored the next nine points to take the lead at 53-52 with 8:47 left in the game.
The rest of the game belonged to Shaw. Buford, who had only two points in the first half, scored 14 in the second to help lift the Bears to the win.
Liles led the Lady Bears with 23 points and 12 rebounds, for her eighth double-double in 11 games. Buford finished with 16 points and Spencer paced Shaw with six assists.
Danielle Luckett led the Vulcans with 15 points, Amy Johns had 13, and Stephanie Michael had ten. Kayla Smith had 11 rebounds to top Calfornia, while Kate Seebohm had five assists.