Shaw women’s basketball coach Jacques Curtis knows there’s one way of guaranteeing a berth into the NCAA Division II championships.
The Bears took a big step towards that goal, beating Winston-Salem State 62-55 on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the CIAA Tournament.
Shaw, which has won the past two CIAA tourney titles and nine overall, now faces Elizabeth City State in a Friday semifinal game at Time Warner Cable Arena. The Vikings advanced by beating St. Augustine’s 74-68.
“Where we’ve ranked in the regional standings (seventh in the Atlantic region), we’re going to have to win the tournament to go on to the NCAAs,” Curtis said.
“We’ve pretty much a brand-new team. Our veterans want to three-peat, but getting their teammates to understand what it’s like will be the key. They got a good taste of that today; they’ll get a real good taste of that Friday.”
In the other semifinal, Fayetteville State will take on Virginia Union. The Broncos defeated Lincoln (Pa.) 60-46 in the quarterfinals Tuesday, while the Panthers edged Virginia State 57-55.
Taylor Dalrymple scored a game-high 21 points for Shaw (23-4), the defending Division II and CIAA tourney champions, who have now won four straight and six of its past seven games.
Yet Wednesday’s semifinal wasn’t decided until the final minute, with seven ties and eight lead changes.
The Rams (14-13) led 52-51 on a Schatavia Gray free throw with 3:46 left, but Crystal Harris put Shaw ahead for good with a jumper 17 seconds later.
Harris, who also had 10 rebounds, added a pair of free throws to push the Bears’ lead to four points. Dalrymple added a jumper and two free throws, and Crystal Wilson had a pair of free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Dionna Scott led Winston-Salem State with 17 points.
In other quarterfinal games Wednesday:
Elizabeth City State 74, St, Augustine’s 68: Stephanie Harper had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Vikings (24-3) extended their conference winning streak to 14 games.
Shawnte Taylor added 14 points and Dashera Boone 10 for Elizabeth City State, the North Division’s No. 1 seed.
Jeanne-Marie Wilson had 12 points, Regime McCombs 11 and Lakiya Rouse 10 for the Falcons (12-15), the South Division’s No. 4 seed.
Fayetteville State 60, Lincoln (Pa.) 46: Kristen Hanzer scored 15 points and led three other players in double figures for the Broncos (23-4), the South Division’s No. 1 seed.
Shuanda Ashford had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Alicia Person added 12 points and Akysia Resper 10 for Fayetteville State, which led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
Cynthia Johnson scored 12 points for the Lions (10-18), the North Division’s No. 4 seed.
Virginia Union 57, Virginia State 55: Ashle Freeman scored 16 points, including a 3-pointer midway through the second half that put the Panthers ahead to stay in the season’s third win against the Trojans.
Parress Davis added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Virginia Union (13-13), the North Division’s No. 2 seed, which fought back from a five-point deficit midway through the first half to lead 24-23 at the break.
Lamesha Deal had a game-high 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Alexandria Massado added 11 points for Virginia State (14-14), the North Division’s No. 3 seed.