CIAA Women’s Basketball: Balanced Attack Pushes Shaw Past Lincoln’s Lady Lions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Shaw University women’s basketball team came out on top of a 71-56 decision against The Lincoln University Lady Lions on Wednesday afternoon in the Time Warner Cable Arena during the second round of CIAA Tournament play. The Lady Bears now advance to the semifinals with a 19-8 mark on the year while the Lady Lions end their season with a 12-15 record.

Shaw entered the contest as the number two seed out of the Southern Division with Lincoln as the sixth seed from the Northern Division. The Lady Bears will take on the winner of the Virginia State and Saint Augustine’s quarterfinal contest Friday at 3 p.m.

Shaw had four players score double-digit points in the victory. Diamond Mitchell and Kamiya Burwell both tallied 15 points. Kaula Jacks added 13, while Verdine Warner contributed 10 points for the Lady Bears. Micah Brooks grabbed 13 rebounds (four offensive, nine defensive).

Shaw head coach Jaques Curtis commented, “We played really tentatively in the first half…[but] we were able to make some things happen in the second half…[and] that’s ultimately what made the difference in today’s game.”

Zephrah Pam led all players in the contest with 16 points for the Lady Lions. She also hauled in a game-high 14 rebounds (five offensive, nine defensive). Dejah Taylor chipped in 10 points for Lincoln in the loss.

The Bears had the hotter shooting hand, hitting 40 percent of their shots from the field, while Lincoln hit 30.6 percent.

In what was, at times, a sloppy game, both teams struggled from the three-point line, with the teams going a combined three for 30. Shaw hit one of 10 of their shots, while Lincoln sank two of 20. Both teams committed 24 turnovers each.

Cynthia Johnson opened up the contest with a jumper for the Lady Lions and Mieana Gaines followed with a basket of her own to give Lincoln a 4-0 lead early in the contest. A bucket by Micah Brooks put the Lady Bears on the board at the 18:18 mark.

With the score tied 6-6 and 16:25 on the clock, Kaula Jacks and Verdine Warner hit back-to-back layups for Shaw, making the score 10-6 and giving the Lady Bears their first lead of the contest.

Pam’s layup at the 11:52 mark knotted the score once more (14-14). The game was tied at a total of nine times in the first half, as each team battled for control of the momentum and the score.

Lisa Saunder’s three-pointer for Lincoln with 23 seconds on the clock put the Lady Lions ahead 30-28, but two successful free throws by Kamiya Burwell iced the game 30-30 as the teams headed into the locker room at halftime.

The Lady Bears came out firing at the start of the second half as Shaw used a 17-2 run capped by a three-pointer by Ariel Hatcher to pull away 47-32 with 14:27 remaining in the game. The deficit proved to be insurmountable for the Lady Lions, as they were never able to recover from a slow start to the second half.

Lincoln clawed their way back to move within eight points (53-45) using a layup by Clark, with 6:42 left in the game and continued to try to chip away at the score. Warner’s basket for the Lady Bears on the next possession gave Shaw back the double-digit lead.

Pam answered with a score of her own for Lincoln, which cut the Lady Bears’ lead to nine points (55-46). That’s as close as Lincoln would get as Shaw maintained a double-digit advantage for the final six minutes of play en-route to the 71-56 win.

Eleven of Burwell’s 15 points came at the free throw line, where she hit 11 of 13. She also had eight assists to lead both squads. Brooks added seven points to her 13 rebounds.

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