CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Shaw’s Larry Richardson scored a season high 29 points, including knocking down 9 of 11 free throws, as the Bears knocked off the Panthers of Virginia Union in the first round of the CIAA Men’s Tournament.
The Shaw Bears lead would reach seven points twice, last, at the half, where Shaw was able to take a 28-21 lead into the locker room at the half.
Shaw started the second half hot, as Larry Richardson hit a three pointer to begin the half, followed by a dunk from Karon Reed, and a jumper from AliBaba Odd, and the Bears were up by their largest lead of the night at 12 points, 35-23.
The Panthers were not going to go away easily, and by the first media timeout of the second half, had trimmed the lead back down to seven points, at 37-30.
Virginia Union’s D’Andre’ Bullard would help keep the Panthers close, with a pair of jumpers, and a layup by Karo Adjekughele at 11:44 brought Virginia union to within six points at 46-40.
A key point in the game came at the 11:09 mark, when Virginia union had trimmed the lead to 48-44, but they would miss a three pointer, and Shaw’s Larry Richardson would answer with a pair of jump shots, followed by two jumpers from Jamar Cooper, and the Bear lead would surge back to double digits at 55-45 with just over seven minutes left to play.
Avery Jirmnson would get the Panthers back into the game once again, with five straight points, but the night would belong to Larry Richardson, as he would put the Shaw Bears on his back with his hot shooting, and timely free throws coming down the stretch.
The Panthers would have one last run in them to try and extend their season, but the Shaw Bears would get fouled and convert seven of eight free throws in the final 50 second to hold on for 77-70 win.
Defensively, the Shaw Bears limited Virginia Union to just 1 of 16 from behind the three point line (6%).
The Shaw Bears were led by Larry Richardson, who dropped a season-high 29 points to lead all scorers. Joe Reid added 10 points, and Karon Reed chipped in nine points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and a steal. Jamar Cooper also added nine points and a game high three steals. AliBaba odd scored eight points. John Savoy added a team high seven rebounds.
Virginia Union was led in scoring by Ray Anderson, who finished with 22 points and four rebounds, while Avery Jirmnson added 15 points and five rebounds. Karo Adjekughele chipped in 11 points and team high seven rebounds. Colton Lewis added a game high four blocked shots.