The Raiders held a four-point lead, 22-18, with 7:25 remaining in the first half before a decisive 17-2 Panther run over the next six minutes gave Virginia Union an 11-point advantage, 35-24, just before the half.
How it happened
A three-point make from freshman guard Trey Martin (Boiling Springs, Pa./Boiling Springs) with 17 seconds remaining cut the deficit to a more manageable six points at the break, 35-29.
Shippensburg attempted to scratch and claw its way back against the Panthers in the second half, but could not get the spark needed from three-point range.
Graduate Luke Nedrow (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic (Marist)) Luke Nedrow drained a pair of free throws to get the Raiders within four points of the opposition with 27 ticks left. That was as close as the Raiders had gotten since the 4:41 mark of the first half.
The Raiders saw three players reach double figures, led by redshirt-senior Rashon Johnson (Philadelphia, Pa./Simon Gratz (Highland C.C.)) with 12 points. Senior Carlos Carter (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) contributed 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while graduate Dom Sleva (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) posted 11 points and seven boards.
Redshirt-sophomore Andrew Recchia (Mars, Pa./Mars Area) got the start at point guard and tallied two points and two assists in 16 minutes.
Martin finished with six points in his collegiate debut. Another freshman, Timmy Conner (Frederick, Md./Linganore), tallied six points and two assists.
Robert Osborne flirted with a triple-double, amassing 19 points, 11 boards, and 5 assists to lift the Panther to a win.
The Raiders are back in action for the final game of the CIAA-PSAC Conference Challenge Saturday. Tip-off against the Virginia State Trojans is set for 7 p.m.