Virginia Union Squeezes Past Shaw 70-68 in CIAA Quarterfinals

Virginia Union University had to withstand a late rally by Shaw University and had a game-clinching block to take a 70-68 CIAA Tournament win on Thursday night at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte.

In the beginning stages of the game, neither team was able to jump out to a sizeable lead.  Shaw was able to go up 10-7 when DaVaughn Kelsie was fouled on a three-point attempt.  He knocked down all three free throws at the 16:20 mark to give the Bears the cushion.

DeAngelo Stephens-Bell would make it 12-7 after a jumper in the paint with 16:04 remaining.  Virginia Union would then go on a 5-1 spurt to tie it at 15-15 after a Todd Hughes layup.  Shaw would respond by going up 28-21, their largest of the first half, after a free throw from Stephens-Bell at the 6:31 mark.

Virginia Union would then go on a 12-2 run to take the 33-30 lead with 2:53 left, capped by a Micah Thomas three-pointer.  Shaw's Stephens-Bell again willed the Bears back to within one point (33-32) with 1:39 before halftime, but VUU's Kory Cooley hit a three-pointer, and after a Shaw basket, the Panthers took the 38-34 lead into halftime after a Hughes layup at the buzzer.

In the second half, Shaw quickly went ahead 48-44 following a 10-6 run and would gain their largest lead of the game (55-48) after a Cameron Golden free throw with 13:15 to play.

Virginia Union then trimmed the Shaw lead to just 59-58 after Cooley got a layup to fall and would later tie the game at 64-64 after a Hughes free throw at 2:11.

VUU regained the lead at 68-66 with a William Jenkins basket in traffic.  Shaw had their opportunities, missing a three pointer and two layups down the stretch. Leading 70-66 with just 14 seconds to play, Shaw was fouled and Stephens-Bell converted both foul shots with 10 seconds remaining. The Bears then fouled VUU's James Paige, forcing a one-and-one free throw situation.  Paige missed the front end shot, and Shaw secured the rebound.

The Bears quickly pushed the ball up the floor, but Golden's game-winning three-point attempt was blocked by Paige, securing the win for the Panthers.

Virginia Union (16-14) had four players in double-figures, led by Todd Hughes with 22 points. Kory Colley finished with 16 while James Paige and William Jenkins had 12 and 11 points, respectively.  Hughes and Jenkins each had a team-best six rebounds in the win.

The Panthers shot 50% from the field (28-of-56) and hit six three-pointers on the night.

Shaw (20-9) got a game-high 20 points from Stephens-Bell. Cameron Golden had 18 and Savon Goodman finished with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

The No. 2 seed from the Northern Division, Virginia Union will advance to Friday's semifinals to take on rival and the Northern Division No. 1 seed Virginia State.  Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

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