CHARLOTTE — Shaw men’s basketball team ended their season with a resounding thud. The Bears blew a 14-point first-half lead to lose to Chowan 59-58 Tuesday night in the CIAA Tournament. Shaw, the No. 5 seed, ended its season 16-11.
“In the second half, we just came out flat,” said head coach Cleo Hill Jr. “They kept it close, and they made some good plays down the stretch.”
Shaw won the tournament in 2011 and was upset last season by Winton-Salem State in the semifinals. With a veteran returning core and several top junior college transfers, the Bears appeared ready to retake their crown.
Shaw’s highest moment came against then No. 11 ranked Barton College on Dec. 3. Led by senior forward Karron Johnson’s 27 points, Shaw upset Barton 91-86.
Shaw won eight of its next 10 games before the bottom fell out.
The Bears blew a late lead against Livingstone on Jan. 19 for its first conference loss. Then came defeats to Winston-Salem State and St. Augustine's. The Bears lost six of seven games until their rematch with archrival St. Augustine’s on Feb. 16.
This time, they returned the favor and rallied for an 83-77 win. The Bears won their remaining two regular season games and looked like the team at the beginning of the season.