SSU women continue roll

Furious comeback falls short for SSU men

Staff Report

Tamal Watkins sets up the offense for Shawnee State during a prior contest.

Tamal Watkins sets up the offense for Shawnee State during a prior contest.

Submitted Photo

The Shawnee State women’s basketball program rode a hot start and finish to open Mid-South Conference play with a win, blowing out Pikeville (Ky.) 83-58 at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

The Bears started the game on a 14-0 run, led by eight early points from Ashton Lovely including two threes. SSU shot 61.1 percent from the field in the first quarter, and the Bears’ tight defense forced Pikeville to 26.7 percent from the field while holding UPike without a three in the period. SSU ultimately extended its lead to as many as 20, and led 28-10 after one period.

Pikeville started to chip away at the lead in the second quarter, starting the period on a 6-0 run. Kayla Mullins’ three with 2:09 left until halftime cut the Shawnee State lead to 32-24, but the Bears responded late as SSU went on an 8-0 run to end the half, capped by a Madison Ridout layup as SSU carried a 40-24 lead into the break.

Pikeville again tested Shawnee State in the third quarter as UPike went on a 12-1 run to cut the lead to eight again at 46-38. Again, however, the Bears responded Laken Smith (FR/Waverly, Ohio) quickly extended the lead back to double-digits, and Lovely followed by hitting a three to make the lead 54-41. SSU ultimately obtained a 56-45 lead heading into the fourth quarter despite the Pikeville run. There, an 8-0 run, capped by an Ashton Lovely three with 5:59 to go, would put SSU up 66-49, and the Bears continued to pull away from then on. Bailey Cummins’ (SO/Brooksville, Kentucky) late layup gave Shawnee State its final margin.

Ashton Lovely had 25 points to lead Shawnee State. Hannah Miller (JR/Coal Grove, Ohio) added 17, Madison Ridout had 14, Laken Smith had 13 and Bailey Cummins chipped in with 11.

Kayla Mullins had 16 points to lead Pikeville, while Elisabeth Latham obtained a double-double by scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Rachel Lee had 12 and Jamie Castle added 11 to round out the effort.

The win improves Shawnee State to 14-3 on the season and to 1-0 in the Mid-South Conference. Pikeville falls to 8-8 and 0-1 in the league. Shawnee State now leads the all-time series, 31-4, and have won 16 games in a row in the series.

The Shawnee State women’s basketball program returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 11 when the Bears host No. 12 Lindsey Wilson in a match-up of last season’s Mid-South Conference Co-Champions. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

Men fall to Pikeville, 88-84

The Shawnee State men’s basketball program had a comeback fall short on Saturday afternoon as SSU fell to No. 6 Pikeville, 88-84, at the East Kentucky Expo Center.

The Bears trailed big early as Pikeville raced into the lead. A 16-2 UPike run buried SSU into a huge hole with 14:18 left in the first half. Shawnee State, however, chipped away at the lead, with Selby Hind-Wills’ (SO/Crawley, England) free throw cutting the lead to 37-31 before settling for a 43-35 halftime deficit.

Pikeville, again, pushed its lead out to double-digits after halftime, and it remained at that gap for much of the period. Shawnee State saw Jayllen Carter and Frederick Moore get into foul trouble as both players went to the bench.

With both of their leading scorers out, Shawnee State mounted an improbable comeback. Hind-Wills hit a layup to cut the lead to 76-68, and EJ Onu’s (FR/Cleveland, Ohio) put-back less than a minute later cut the lead to six. The Bears continued to keep the score close and chipped away at the lead until Matt Rhodes (SR/Westerville, Ohio)’ turnaround jumper brought Shawnee State within one at 79-78. After a Jayvian Delacruz bucket, Rhodes again hit a jumper over Pikeville’s Jordan Perry to cut the lead to one again. However, Shawnee State got no closer as Pikeville dug in defensively and fended off Shawnee State’s furious rally to win 88-84.

EJ Onu led Shawnee State with 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Jayllen Carter and Bryan Rolfe each had 14, and Selby Hind-Wills and Matt Rhodes each had season-highs with 11 points each.

Jayvian Delacruz scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Pikeville. Darrion Leslie had 15 points and 15 rebounds, Jordan Perry had 17 and Rze Culbreath had 16.

The loss drops Shawnee State to 8-7 on the season, with the Bears falling to 0-1 in the Mid-South Conference. Pikeville improves to 16-0 and 1-0 in the league. SSU fell to 21-3 in the all-time series and have now lost the last 13 to Pikeville.

The Shawnee State men’s basketball program returned home to take on Central State at 7:30 p.m. on Monday evening and will play host to Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) and Cumberland (Tenn.) on Thursday and Saturday. Those contests start at 7 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively.


Saturday (1/6)

Ironton St. Joseph 53, Clay 36

Despite garnering 11 points from Garrett Beegan and nine tallies from Gage Moore, the Clay Panthers’ boys basketball program couldn’t contain Ironton St. Joseph and its strong duo of Chase Walters and Joey McDavid as the latter pair combined for 41 of the Flyers’ 53 points in a 53-36 victory on Saturday evening in Ironton.

Clay, who shot the ball efficiently from the three-point line again, knocked down eight treys in the contest, with six coming off of the back of Beegan and Moore along. Reece Whitley, who connected on a pair of threes for the affair, added six points, while Mason Newton (five) and Caleb Cline (four) rounded out the scoring load for the Panthers (1-12).

Zach Roach and Clay Willis scored six points apiece for St. Joe, who improved to 9-2 overall. Clay will return to Rosemount on Tuesday evening to face East in an SOC I bout.

Tamal Watkins sets up the offense for Shawnee State during a prior contest. Watkins sets up the offense for Shawnee State during a prior contest. Submitted Photo
Furious comeback falls short for SSU men

Staff Report