John Westbrook contributed to this story
CHARLOTTE, NC (March 1, 2019) – Alex Owens 22-point,15-rebound performance helped propel Shaw University past the Virginia Union Panthers, 70-58 in the 2019 CIAA semifinals Friday evening in Spectrum Arena.
With the victory, #1 seed (CIAA South) Shaw advances to the championship for the first time since 2011 and will face #1 seed (CIAA North) Virginia State University Saturday, March 2 at 4:30 p.m. here in Spectrum Center.
SU ignited a quick 14-6 run going into the first media timeout of the contest. Union came out flat shooting 50 percent from the field (3-of-6); while the Bears shot 75 percent from the field, 50 percent from behind the arc, and 50 percent from the line.
Union would answer with a 7-4 run of its own during the next six minutes of the ballgame, making it an 18-13 contest with 9:23 remaining in the first half. Leach carried the Panthers with an 11-point first half, but balanced play from Shaw gave them the 36-26 lead headed into the half.
Alex Owens led the way for the Bears with eight points and eight boards. SU closed out the half shooting 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from the floor, 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from downtown, and 88.9 percent (8-of-9) from the charity stripe. Fans witnessed two ties and a lead change during the half.
The Bears controlled the floor, outscoring Union 18-to-14 points in the paint, 10-to-5 points off turnovers, and 8-to-0 in second chance points. The Panthers outscored SU in bench points, 9-to-8. Shaw led by as much as 10 throughout the half.
SU came out of the half on fire, shooting 83.3 percent (5-of-6) from the field and 100 percent (1-of-1) from behind the arc, while holding Union to only 16.7 percent (1-of-6) shooting from the floor going into the second media timeout of the second half. Shaw led by as much as 17 with 15:57 remaining in the contest.
An intense game from the start, but more exciting in during the second half. The Panthers continued to fight back but were not able to grasp the lead as Shaw closed out the contest. The Bears finished the game shooting 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the floor, 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from behind the arc, and 82.4 percent (14-of-17) from the line, while holding Virginia Union to shooting 40.8 percent (20-of-49) from the field, 25 percent (4-of-16) from downtown, and 70 percent (14-of-20) from the charity stripe for the game.
Shaw finished with four players in double-figures including Owens. DaVaughn Kelsie scored 12; Amir Hinton recorded 11, while Davon Dillard added 10 points in the victory. Terrell Leach led the Panthers with 21 points, while Will Jenkins tallied 12 and Jordan Peebles added 10 in the effort.
The Bears outscored Union 40-to-28 points in the paint, 16-to-12 points off turnovers, and 14-to-3 in second chance points. Union outscored Shaw 17-to-10 in bench points.