PIKEVILLE, Ky. – Freshman Hannah Miller scored the first 10 points for the No. 5 Shawnee State women’s basketball team en route to tie a career-high with 21 points, as SSU held on for a, 70-64, victory over the No. 17 University of Pikeville to secure its eighth Mid-South Conference victory on Monday night at the East Kentucky Exposition Center.
The victory – coupled with a Campbellsville University loss versus Georgetown on Saturday – vaulted Shawnee State (20-3, 8-1 Mid-South) into first place in the conference, leaving the Bears in control of their own destiny with five games remaining in Mid-South play.
SSU was led by a 21-point performance by Miller, who made the first start of her young career. The Coal Grove, Ohio native connected for a bucket just 40 seconds into the contest, and followed with back-to-back triples to put SSU ahead, 8-4 in the early going. She added a pair of free throws to make it 10-4 with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
The nation’s leading scorer, Ali Zieverink held serve with another 22 points to go along with a game-high 16 rebounds, her fifth double-double of the year. Zieverink finished 10-of-14 from the field and grabbed eight offensive caroms. Abby Feuchter added a double-double, as well, scoring 13 to go with 10 boards.
Shawnee State never trailed in the game, though – despite a 13-point second quarter lead – were never able to put Pikeville (19-2, 5-2 Mid-South) away. The home squad was able to cut the deficit to three with 1:30 remaining in the second half, but SSU closed the period on a 6-0 run to head to the locker room leading, 44-35.
Pikeville again was able to cut back into the SSU lead, bringing the game within a point, 48-47, halfway through the third period. UPike used a 19-point performance from Kandice Porter and a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) from Aundrea Matchen to remain in the contest.
By the end of the third, Shawnee State had carved out a 6-point advantage. Pikeville was able to cut the deficit down to three points on two separate occasions in the fourth, but Feuchter and Zieverink combined to connect on 4-of-6 free throws in the closing minute to hold on for the 6-point win.
Shawnee State was able to connect on 26-of-57 attempts from the field, while limiting the nation’s highest-scoring offense to just 31.2 percent shooting and its second-lowest point total of the season. SSU held UPike to just 10-of-41 from the field in the second half.
SSU now turns task to a Thursday matchup with the University of the Cumberlands back in Portsmouth at Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.