Title image via Donald Watkins
RALEIGH, NC —Makenzie Pollard put the Shaw women’s basketball team ahead for good with 45 seconds to go in overtime to give the Lady Bears a 70-69 win over the Johnson C. Smith Golden Bulls at historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium Wednesday. It was a milestone victory for Head Coach Jacques Curtis, who collected his 400th women’s basketball victory at Shaw.
The Lady Bears (7-7, 1-2 CIAA) had three players score in double figures, led by Pollard, who had 17 points and nine rebounds. Tanashia Hairstonadded 13 points off of the bench and Tanayja London helped out with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Shaw out-rebounded Johnson C. Smith 51-45 in Wednesday’s game, paced by Pollard’s nine boards. The Lady Bears also grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and scored six second chance points.
Shaw did a great job disrupting Johnson C. Smith shots in the contest, coming away with six blocks. Brittiney Seymour’s three rejections led the way individually for the Lady Bears.
How It Happened
Shaw started off strong, putting together a 15-14 lead heading into the second quarter. Shaw got a great contribution from its bench in the period, as non-starters accounted for four of its 15 total points.
Shaw kept its first quarter lead intact before going on a 5-0 run starting at the 8:17 mark in the second period, highlighted by a bucket from Hairston, to increase its lead to 20-14. The Golden Bulls cut into that lead, but the Lady Bears still enjoyed a 27-26 advantage heading into halftime. Shaw saw non-starters score nine of its 12 total points off the bench in the quarter.
Shaw continued to preserve its halftime lead before going on a 5-0 run, punctuated by a basket from Seymour, to expand its lead further to 34-28 with 6:43 to go in the third. Before the conclusion of the third period, the Golden Bulls had cut into that lead somewhat, but the Lady Bears still entered the fourth quarter with a 40-37 edge. Shaw played well near the basket, scoring eight of its 13 points in the paint.
Johnson C. Smith proceeded to take a 55-53 lead before Shaw went on a 5-0 run to seize a 58-55 lead with 13 seconds to go in the fourth. The Golden Bulls then fought back to even things up at 58-58 on a last second three-pointer and send the game to overtime. Shaw took advantage of its opportunities in the post, scoring 10 of its 18 points in the paint.
Shaw then took care of business in extra time, outscoring Johnson C. Smith 12-11 to seize victory by the 70-69 final score.
» The Lady Bears held the Golden Bulls to only 35.1 percent shooting from the field.
» The Shaw bench made an impact by scoring 30 points to its scoring output.
» The Shaw defense forced 16 turnovers.
» Shaw forced JCSU’s Shaniya Jones, the CIAA scoring leader, to shoot 6 of 19 from the floor.
» The victory was the third straight for the Lady Bears.
“It’s better than if it was against a subpar team. I’m not taking away anything from anybody. It would not have felt as good. [JCSU] made us work for it. We made them work, they made us work. One thing I can say was my 400th win was an overtime win that we worked to get.” – Head Coach Jacques Curtis, who has led the Lady Bears to nine CIAA titles and a NCAA DII national crown during his career.
“You remember your first and you remember your last. My first year here I won six games. It has been 394 wins since that first year getting six [victories]. It’s been a long journey. I’m just thankful that I’ve had the opportunity to stay here this long to do this because there are no [current] coaches in the CIAA that were here when I came. A few moved on their own and some were forced out because they weren’t turning the corner. Here, at Shaw, they allowed me to turn the corner after those six wins. I think the second year we might have gotten 15 wins and the third year we won the [CIAA] championship. We are in that rebuilding mode now again and [the university] has allowed me to bring some good solid academic kids in that can also play basketball. I had four kids get 4.0s last semester. We got the right kind of kids who are good student-athletes so it also feels good to get 400 wins with the right group of kids. I would have gladly taken the win in regulation, we didn’t need overtime. – Head Coach Jacques Curtis
“Quality players and support from your administration. If you don’t have the quality players, you better have support from your administration. Also, you have to have a good staff. I’ve brought the right people in to work for me. That’s a key. I got a great staff that does a great job of teaching the kids in what we are trying to do. Probably after my second year here, all my staffs have been great and they move on to become head coaches.” – Head Coach Jacques Curtis on the secret to his coaching success over the years.
“This is a reflection of the great work that Coach Curtis done with this program. This was a long time coming. We are so excited for him and it’s only going to go up for him. This is what we work hard for. We are just glad that we can produce for him so he can get the flowers that he deserves. We heard about it for the first time right before overtime. We had to close this out for him. So us knowing that we were able to get it done in our home, protecting our house, was a huge thing for Coach Curtis and for us as well.” – Shaw sophomore forward Tanayja London
The Lady Bears host Regent in a non-conference contest on Thursday at 6 p.m. Two days later, they take on Winston-Salem State at historic C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium for an afternoon CIAA tilt. Game time is 2 p.m.
Next Game: Regent University 1/5/2023 | 6 pm