PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – The Shawnee State women’s basketball program used another dominating low-post performance via Ali Zieverink’s 33 points and 12 rebounds on 60 percent shooting from the floor to overcome a slow first half by shooting 63.3 percent from the field in the second half to pull away to a 76-66 win over Northwestern Ohio at the Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium in a nonconference bout on Monday evening.
The Bears (4-0), who overcame 2-of-14 shooting from three-point range to earn the victory, held a 42-32 rebounding edge over the Racers (1-3) for the contest and shot 51.7 percent for the contest compared to Northwestern Ohio’s 41.5 percent mark.
Both squads would trade runs early to start the contest as Northwestern Ohio went on a 7-0 run behind two Porsha Buchanan shots to grab an 11-6 lead with 5:38 to play in the first quarter.
While Shawnee State would answer with a 6-0 run to grab a 12-11 advantage, the Racers would answer back with a 5-0 advantage to end the first period of action ahead by a 16-12 tally.
In the second quarter, the Bears immediately started out hot as Shawnee State scored the first four points of the second quarter to pull even with Northwestern Ohio.
However, the Racers’ offensive pace would begin to wear on the Bears, as Shawnee State would commit four turnovers in the final 3:44 of play to allow Northwestern Ohio to grab a 34-28 edge at halftime following a 10-4 run.
After an early Northwestern Ohio free throw to start the third quarter, the Bears would begin to turn the tables on the contest as Shawnee State went on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 35 behind an Abby Feuchter trey and two-point baskets from Zieverink and Madison Ridout with 6:46 remaining in the period.
Even though the Racers would jump out to another five-point advantage, Northwestern Ohio wouldn’t get away from the Bears again for the remainder of the contest as Shawnee State went on a 7-2 run behind another trey – this time from Lovely – and two more deuces from Zieverink and Ridout to tie the game again at 44 with 2:29 to go in the third quarter of play.
Both teams would duel furiously for the remaining portion of the third quarter as the Bears and Racers would tie or trade the lead with each other four different times over the following 2:07 before Ridout’s cutting drive to the basket with 46 seconds left put Shawnee State ahead by a 50-48 tally at the end of the third period of play.
The quarter-ending basket by Ridout would prove to be the spark that the Bears desperately needed, as Shawnee State opened up the final frame on a 13-2 tilt behind six points from Zieverink and five points from Lydia Poe to push the lead to a 63-52 count with 6:53 to play in the contest.
From that point forward, Northwestern Ohio wouldn’t be able to cut the deficit to any less than five as after an 8-2 Racer run to cut the gap to 65-60, Shawnee State would get three straight makes without a miss as Feuchter, Zieverink and Lovely each added two points to allow the Bears to go on a game-deciding 6-2 tilt in closing the contest out.
In addition to Zieverink’s output, Lovely and Ridout would also place in double-figures as the aforementioned pair would add 12 and 11 points, respectively, while grabbing six rebounds apiece.
With tonight’s contest in the books, Shawnee State will obtain two days of rest before hitting the road to play their first ranked opponent of the year as the Bears will take on the No. 22-ranked team in the NAIA Division II Coaches’ Preseason Poll in Asbury (Ky.) during its first road contest of the season. The nonconference tilt will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12.
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