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College Basketball: Shaw women 67, Livingstone 55

By David Shaw

Salisbury Post

A great start doesn’t necessarily ensure a great finish. Just ask the Livingstone women’s basketball team.

The Blue Bears saved their best for first in Saturday’s 67-55 loss to visiting Shaw University. An early 12-point lead disintegrated like wet cardboard and stuck LC (7-11, 4-7 CIAA) with its fifth loss in six games.

“We were playing an inside game early on,” said Livingstone coach Andrew Mitchell. “I think we only took a few three-pointers in the first half. All of our points were coming on layups and drives to the basket.”

That all changed when Shaw

(12-7, 8-4) switched to a zone defense in the second half. Forced into an outside game it didn’t want, the Blue Bears converted only 11 of 40 field goal attempts in the second half and went down quietly.

“Once we got the lead we started rushing,” said 6-foot-3 forward Love Brown. “That wasn’t our plan. Instead of being patient and looking for the best shot, we just started putting them up. We got out of our system.”

It was Brown (17 points, six rebounds) who helped LC take a surprising 17-5 lead in the first seven minutes. Twice she scored on stickback layups and once on a turnaround set shot from inside the lane.

“She’s definitely one of the better players in our conference,” said Shaw coach Jacques Curtis. “Getting the ball inside to her — that’s how they got that lead. She’s a tough matchup for us.”

Brown was abetted by senior LaTanya Walker, a six-footer who scored all 10 of her points in the opening half. She looked solid driving the baseline for layups, then finding her favorite spots for 10-foot set shots.

“We were looking for shots that work for us,” Walker said after going 4-for-9 from the floor. “We were executing our way and getting results.”

But as quickly as the spigot had been turned on, it shut off. Shaw used a 23-8 spurt to take charge and went ahead 28-25 on a 3-pointer by East Carolina transfer Na’Keisha Anthony with 2:40 left in the half. A one-point halftime lead ballooned to

52-39 with 7:09 remaining on a bucket by Jamie Goshen.

“They sucked it up and started fighting and beating on us,” Mitchell said afterward. “All we were doing was taking 3-pointers. Now, if we were making those 3-pointers, we run them out of the gym. But if you execute your system and be patient, you run them out of the gym as well. We just didn’t do that.”

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NOTES: A bright spot for the Blue Bears was freshman gunner Jonta Moss, who went 4-for-4 on three-point shots and totaled 14 points. … Shaw placed four scorers in double figures while Brooklyn native Nicky Souter snatched 12 rebounds. … LC forward Kim Johns missed the game with flu symptoms. Two other players and Mitchell were both under the weather. … The CIAA tournament is scheduled Feb. 25 through March 3 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

SHAW (67) — Bozeman 17, McGaughey 13, Anthony 13, Goshen 12, Clemendor 4, Harrell 3, Baxter 2, Bailey 2, Souter 1.

LIVINGSTONE (55) — Brown 17, Moss 14, Walker 10, Davis 8, Bryant 6, Johnson, Mack, Hudson, Westray, Stewart.

Shaw 30 37 — 67

Livingstone 29 26 — 55

*

Contact David Shaw at dshaw@salisburypost.com.

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