ADRIAN, Mich. – The Shawnee State women’s basketball fell to NAIA DII No. 4 St. Francis (IN) 98-76 in the opening game of the Siena Heights Thanksgiving Tournament.
It was the second defeat that the Bears suffered to the Cougars this season as USF ran away with the contest in the second half. In the season opening game, USF also scored 98 points while SSU tallied 91 points in that previous contest.
Shawnee State got a game-high 29 points from Priscila Santos while Alannah Sheets added 26 points, which the second-highest total of any player in the game. However, their point totals were not nearly enough to keep up with the four Cougar starters that scored 18 or more points. Jenelle Wilson led the USF offensive effort with 25 points while Skylarr Shurn (21 points), Brooke Ridley (20 points) and Akyah Taylor (18 points) combined for 84 of the team’s total points.
Despite the final score, Shawnee State held a lead in the opening minutes of the second half in what was a back-and-forth affair into the final 20 minutes. In the first half of the game, the Bears and Cougars were tied on five different occasions.
Shawnee State’s largest lead of the game came with 3:17 to play in the opening half after a layup from Ali Zieverink gave the Bears the largest lead by either side in the first 20 minutes. That lead was then matched with 2:26 to play in the opening half when Santos answered a USF basket to put SSU up 40-35. However, the Cougars scored seven of the last nine points in the half and took a 43-42 lead into the locker rooms.
A basket by Santos to start the second half put the Bears back on top by one just a couple seconds into the second half. Diane Abbady would then hit a layup with 19:13 to play, giving SSU a 47-46 lead. However, that would be the final time the Bears held a lead in the contest.
A free throw from Abbady with 18:27 on the clock would force the game’s seventh tie. However, an 8-0 run to give USF a 55-47 lead with 15:03 to play was a sign of things to come.
A pair of free throws from Sheets and a basket from Santos got SSU to within four at 55-51 with 14:06 to play. The Cougars would stretch that lead back to 10 points with 11:16 to play.
With USF holding a 66-57 lead with 9:27 to play, the Cougars blew the contest wide open by scoring 22 of the next 27 points and held an 87-62 lead with 5:37 remaining in the game.
Their largest lead of the game was 26 points with 1:59 to play before two final baskets from the Bears left the game at a 22-point margin.
After going 17-of-37 (45.9%) from the field in the opening half, SSU went 13-of-37 (35.1%) in the second half but this percentage included an 0-for-9 effort from beyond the arc in the second half. USF went 16-of-32 (50%) in the opening half and improved to 18-of-33 (54.5%) in the second half.
In total, the Cougars went 9-of-12 from beyond the arc for the game. They also went 21-of-24 from the free throw line while SSU had just 15 free throw attempts total.
The Bears will play in Sunday’s consolation game.