|Curtis Hines scored a game-high 25 points in Shaw’s 92-62 win over Virginia Union.|
After playing just one home game in the first half of the season, Shaw was happy to be home against Virginia Union on Thursday. The Bears showed their appreciation by putting on a shooting clinic, shooting a higher percentage from three-point range than two-point range in a 92-62 blowout over the Panthers.
Shaw shot a scorching 68 percent from three-point range, hitting 13 of their 19 attempts on the night. Leading the way was junior Curtis Hines, who hit 8-of-10 of his three-point attempts en route to a game-high 28 points. Despite the staggering shooting performance, Shaw coach Cleo Hill, Jr. didn’t seem too surprised.
“We have some good shooters,” he said. “Curtis Hines is one of the best shooters to ever come through this program.”
Hines got started early, hitting three three-point attempts in the game’s first nine minutes. He hit on all but one of his long-range attempts in the first half, as Shaw took a commanding 41-26 lead.
Hines credited practice repetition with his efficiency from outside.
“I’ve put in the work in practice,” he said “and it pays off in games.”
Shaw spent much of the second half on the free-throw line. They made the most of it, hitting 17 of 22 free throws. They outscored Virginia Union 51-36 in the second half.
Virginia Union coach Lugman Jabeer said he wasn’t taken by surprise by Shaw’s outside shooting.
“If you’re playing a team at home, a good team like Shaw and you’re giving them uncontested shots, they’re bound to knock them down. I’m surprised they didn’t hit all of them.
Three other Bears hit double figures. Karron Johnson had a solid all-around game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Derrick Hunter and Andre Paulk both added 13 points each. Ken Pankey was the lone Panther in double figures with 11 points.
The scary thing is, despite the 30 point win, Hill didn’t seem to think his team had played as well as it could have.
“Even though we had a great percentage, we didn’t execute very well,” he said. “We made shots, but we didn’t execute.”
In addition to being Shaw’s CIAA home-opener, Thursday night’s game was just its second home game all season. Both Hines and Johnson said playing at home was a bonus after starting the season with so many road games.
“We probably have the smallest gym in the CIAA, but I think we have the best fans. Being on the road for the last month or so, it felt great to give our fans something to enjoy.”
Johnson compared the atmosphere C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium to that of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“It’s not that big, but once it gets packed and the momentum gets going, it’s a great place to play in.”