SSU Women advance to MSC title game

Men fall to UPike, 79-74

Shawnee State junior Bailey Cummins scored 22 points against Georgetown to help lift the Bears to their fifth straight MSC championship game.

Shawnee State junior Bailey Cummins scored 22 points against Georgetown to help lift the Bears to their fifth straight MSC championship game.

Photo courtesy of SSU Athletics

SSU 80, Georgetown 63

Pikeville, Ky. – Shawnee State Women’s Basketball will appear in the Mid-South Conference Tournament Championship for the fifth straight season. The Bears defeated Georgetown 80-63 Sunday afternoon in the semifinals game and will face Campbellsville in Monday’s title game.

In Sunday’s semifinal action, the Bears shot an efficient 48.4% from the field connecting on 30 of 62 attempts. SSU lit up from deep as well shooting an impressive 57.1% from three. The Bears also won the rebounding battle, grabbing 43 boards to Georgetown’s 34.

Georgetown finished at 35.6% on 26 of 73 shooting from the field. The Tigers struggled from behind the arc, managing to connect on four of 22 shots for 18.2%. A highlight for Georgetown was in the steals column, where they racked up nine. The Tigers also passed the ball well, finishing with 15 assists.

Bailey Cummins (JR/Brooksville, Kentucky) was a huge spark for the Bears offense as she led with 22 points, seven assists, and five rebounds. Hannah Miller (SR/Coal Grove, Ohio) would put up 19 points including four three pointers. Hagen Schaefer (SO/Portsmouth, Ohio) was on fire from deep, hitting on four of five attempts from three point range and finishing with 12 points.

Shania Massie (SR/Greenfield, Ohio) opened up the game scoring five straight points for the Bears to give them an early lead. Georgetown battled back and managed to take a 6-5 lead. Both teams struggled from the field in the first quarter, the Bears shot just 25 percent in the period while Georgetown shot 26 percent. Niether team settled into rythym in the first as they would end the period tied at 12.

Georgetown went on a run to begin the second quarter and took a 16-12 lead. The Tigers wouldn’t hold the lead for long as a 7-0 SSU run would put the Bears back on top 19-16 with 7:30 remaining. Towards the end of the half the Bears took advantage of opportunities in transition and took a 39-28 lead. Georgetown’s Madison Darnell brought the Tigers within single digits to close the first half. At the end of the second quarter the Bears headed to the locker room leading 41-32.

The Bears wouldn’t slow in the third, going on another 7-3 run to lead 53-37. Georgetown would come as close to within three with 1:35 left in the game but another SSU run would extend the Bears lead to nine making the score 61-52 thanks in part to hitting four of five shots from deep.

Shawnee took control early on in the final frame, pushing their lead to 72-56 after the first six minutes. Their lead would never fall below double digits for the rest of the contest despite solid offensive play from Georgetown. The Bears would go on to win by a final score of 80-63.

The win advances the Bears to the Mid-South Tournament Championship for their fifth consecutive season. Shawnee State will face Campbellsville in the championship for the fourth time in five years. Last years Mid-South Conference Championship between the Bears and Tigers was a thrilling battle, resulting in a 81-79 Shawnee State victory. The Bears have won the last four MSC tournament championships dating back to the 2014-15 season.

The championship game is set to tip-off at 1PM on Monday, March 4th at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville, Ky. Shawnee SportsNet will have live audio coverage. Video coverage provided by Pikeville can be found by following this link.

Pikeville 79, SSU 74

Pikeville, Ky. – Shawnee State Men’s Basketball took on (13) Pikeville in the quarterfinals of the Mid-South Conference Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center. From the tip it was a battle of physicality, especially in the final minutes that ultimately resulted in a Pikeville win 79-74 over SSU.

Shawnee State entered the game having defeated Pikeville in both regular season contests between the two squads. Pikeville, ranked 13 in the country and seeded at No. 2 in the tournament, avenged the losses and will move on the the semifinals.

In the loss, Shawnee State shot 48.3% from the field, connecting on 28 of 58 shots. The Bears would go without a three in the first half but picked up from deep in the second draining six of 12 threes for 50%. Free throws proved important in the second half, SSU went 12 of 18 from the line for 66.7%. The Bears forced 18 turnovers from UPike while giving up 16.

Pikeville hit 30 of 65 shots from the field for 46.2%. From three the Bears shot an impressive 50% on eight of 16 attempts. UPike outrebounded SSU 38 to 29.

Juwan Grant (SR/Baltimore, Maryland) led the Bears with a monster second half, dropping 20 points including five of nine from beyond the arc. Tim Biakapia (JR/Germantown, Maryland) was the second leading scorer, finishing with 18 points and five rebounds EJ Onu (SO/Cleveland, Ohio) had 13 points, six rebounds while Justin Johnson (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) put up 12 points and six boards.

In the first half SSU got out on top early, building a 8-2 lead before Pikeville would surge offensively. Over the course of five minutes, Pikeville went on a 13-0 run and led 21-10 after the first 10 minutes. At the end of the first half, Pikeville outscored Shawnee 13-4 and led 41-21 headed into halftime.

Pikeville continued dominating offensive play for the opening four minutes of the second half, with Goana hitting his fourth three pointer of the contest. With just under 15 minutes to go, SSU would break out to within single digits trailing 51-43 with 14:52 remaining. Good defensive play from UPike held Shawnee scoreless for the next few minutes allowing Pikeville to extend their lead to 10.

With under five minutes left, Juwan Grant embarked on an incredible run scoring eight straight points including back to back three pointers to bring the Bears within two points. At the 4:53 mark, SSU trailed 68-66. In the next two minutes it was a struggle for momentum as the Bears continued to battle. Grant splashed another three to make it 72-70 with 2:08 remaining but SSU could not get over the hump. UPike would make it a two possesion game once more before sealing the deal with free throws in the final minute. UPike would get the win 79-74.

The loss marks the end of the 2018-19 season for Shawnee State Men’s Basketball. They close the season with an overall record of 14-16, 5-9 in the Mid-South Conference. Pikeville moves on to the semifinals on Sunday, with an overall record of 22-7, 9-5 in conference play.

Shawnee State junior Bailey Cummins scored 22 points against Georgetown to help lift the Bears to their fifth straight MSC championship game. State junior Bailey Cummins scored 22 points against Georgetown to help lift the Bears to their fifth straight MSC championship game. Photo courtesy of SSU Athletics
Men fall to UPike, 79-74