The Shaw University Bears men’s basketball team earned the second Central Interscholastic Athletic Association (CIAA) championship in school history after edging the Livingstone Blue Bears, 72-69, in the CIAA Tournament finals on March 5 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C.

Shaw senior guard Raheem Smith made the difference in the game, scoring a team-high 28 points, including two clutch free throws that gave Shaw (22-8) a three-point lead with only 2.3 seconds left in the game.

Smith was named CIAA Tournament MVP for his stellar performance. His teammates, Devon McLendon and Tony Smith, both joined him as honorees named to the All-CIAA Tournament team. McLendon scored a double double–19 points and 14 rebounds–while Tony Smith added 11 points, shooting 53 percent from the field in the title game.

“I can’t say enough about this team,” Shaw coach Cleo Hill, Jr. said. “I’m proud of them and we fought throughout this tournament.”

Both Shaw’s men’s and women’s basketball teams claimed CIAA championships this year, a first-time feat for the historically Black university located in Raleigh, N.C. Shaw’s women’s team beat Johnson C. Smith’s women’s team, 62-56, for their sixth CIAA championship in nine years.

Unfortunately for Livingstone’s men, they fell just short in their first-ever CIAA finals appearance and completed the 2010-2011 season with a 17-12 overall record. Senior forward Darius Cox and junior forward Greg Henry were named to the All-CIAA Tournament team, despite the loss.