The Shaw Bears led by 4 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds to go, but Virginia Union drained two 3-pointers and hit a tip-in and two free throws to dominate the final minutes and win the CIAA title game, 70-66. Kiana Johnson and Lady Walker combined for 10 points in the final 2:43.
Shaw senior Eboni Ross registered a double-double with 29 points and 17 rebounds, including six offensive and 11 defensive in the loss. She also was 13-of-15 from the foul line and 8-of-12 from the field.
The Panthers’ Johnson turned in a 32-point performance. Walker notched 23 points and 20 rebounds, while Taylor White added 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Virginia Union is 25-2, Shaw 24-7.
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Shaw kept the Panthers at bay through much of the final quarter as the Bears had a four-point lead with 3:30 left before VUU converted on a four-point play to cut the lead 64-63, followed by a tip-in from Walker to give the Lady Panthers the one-point lead (65-64). The next possession, Shaw turned the ball over and Johnson was able to knock down a 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining.
With seven seconds remaining, Ross scored a layup to trim the lead to 68-66. Both teams called a timeout immediately after as two Shaw fouls put VUU in the bonus, Walker hit both shots to make it 70-66, still with 7.0 seconds to play.
Following a timeout by Shaw, the Lady Bears’ 3-point attempt was short and VUU was able secure the rebound for the win.
Fantasha Tyson (Middle Creek, Wake Tech) hit a 3-pointer during the first half to tie the score at 21.
Shaw led 30-28 at the half.
The Bears await a bid to the NCAA Division II tournament. The brackets will be unveiled March 6.