PORTSMOUTH – Shawnee State University’s men’s and women’s teams hosted Georgetown College (Ky.) in a women’s/men’s double-header in Portsmouth on Monday.
Strong second half pushes No. 7 Bears past Tigers
In game one of Monday’s double header, four Bears scored in double-figures to push the Shawnee State University women’s team past the visiting Georgetown College Tigers (Ky.) 87-67 in Mid-South Conference play.
With the win, the No. 7 ranked Bears improve to 16-1 in the 2019-20 campaign with a 4-0 record in MSC play.
“Georgetown’s a very talented team who had really taken care of business to start conference play,” Bears coach Jeff Nickel said following the win. “So we were happy to be able to get the win.”
Leading the Tigers 43-37 at the break, the Bears would outscore their opponent 44-30 over the final twenty minutes of play to earn Monday’s win by a 20-point margin.
Carson Roney led the Bears in Monday’s win in impressive fashion. As the first player off Nickel’s bench, Roney finished with a game-high 18 points, game-high 10 rebounds, tied-for game-high five steals, a game-high three blocks, and three assists.
Roney was one of four Bears in double-figures in Monday’s win. Bailey Cummins and Brandie Snow scored 16 points apiece while Sydney King scored 15. Snow also tied Roney with a game-high five steals.
Also contributing on the scoreboard in the win was Anyia Pride and Marnae Holland who scored five apiece, Hagen Schaefer and Bethany Mackin who scored four apiece, and Leah Wingeier and Natalie Zuchowski who scored two apiece.
“I thought we did a good job of going inside and out, and we were pretty much 50-50 in both so I thought we had good balance,” Nickel said. “We weren’t one-dimensional, I thought we passed the ball very well, and I thought we were patient to be able to get some really good shots.”
SSU’s defense was another highlight of Monday’s win as the Bears limited Georgetown to just 37.3% shooting from the field for the game as well as forcing 22 Tiger turnovers compared to just 12 assists. In the second half, Shawnee State held Georgetown to just 32.3% from the field.
On the offensive end, Nickel’s group finished with 17 assists to 15 turnovers as well as shooting 51.5% from the field for the game.
“Second half we were really good (on defense),” Nickel said. “I think we forced 10 or 12 turnovers from them in the second half, we held them to 32% shooting in the second half and we were really good on the offensive glass. Those are things that create extra possessions and I thought we did a very good job capitalizing on some of their mistakes.”
As the Bears sink their teeth into the heart of Mid-South play, the road ahead doesn’t get any easier from here.
Nickel and his group will prepare to hit the road for their next five conference games starting with trips to Columbia to face No. 14 Lindsey Wilson on Thursday and a trip Saturday to Campbellsville University to face the No. 1 Tigers headlining the journey.
“We’ve been able to develop a lot of depth where we’re playing each of our 13 kids when we need them throughout different games,” Nickel said of the Bears’ 16-1 start and the road ahead. “We’ve had around 11 girls average in double-figures in minutes consistently. It’s going to be really critical for us to take advantage of our depth, use our balance to be able to wear teams down. Tough weekend ahead for us, and it’s going to have a big impact on our conference race. Hopefully we can take it one game at a time, one possession at a time, figure out a way to get a win on Thursday.”
Georgetown (Ky.) 18 19 17 13 – 67
Shawnee State 24 19 22 22 – 87
Georgetown College (11-5, 2-1 MSC)
Lauren Boblitt 1 2-2 5, Whitney O’Mara 5 0-1 10, Madison Darnell 7 8-9 22, Olivia Bowling 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Flynn 2 1-2 6, Terri Abram 0 2-2 2, Kallie Sheron 0 0-0 0, Maddie Burcham 0 0-0 0, Hailey Ison 0 0-0 0, Michaela Kennedy 2 0-0 6, Raegan Williams 1 4-4 7, Cindy Lin 1 0-0 2, Alexis Stapleton 3 0-0 7; TOTALS: 22 17-19 67; Three-point field goals: 6 (Kennedy 2, Boblitt, Flynn, Williams, and Stapleton 1 apiece)
Shawnee State (16-1, 4-0 MSC)
Anyia Pride 2 1-2 5, Sydney King 7 0-0 15, Brandie Snow 6 1-4 16, Bethany Mackin 1 2-2 4, Bailey Cummins 7 0-0 16, Carson Roney 7 4-4 18, Evelyn Oktaven 0 0-0 0, Abbie Kallner 0 0-0 0, Marnae Holland 2 0-0 5, Alex Ochman 0 0-0 0, Hagen Schaefer 1 1-2 4, Natalie Zuchowski 1 0-0 2, Leah Wingeier 1 0-0 2; TOTALS: 35 12-16 87; Three-point field goals: 5 (Cummins 2, King, Holland, Schaefer 1 apiece)
No. 1 Tigers close on 7-0 run to down (RV) Bears
Shawnee State University junior Justin Johnson’s layup to tie Monday’s game 60-60 between the Bears and the visiting No. 1 Georgetown College Tigers with 2:41 left were the last points the Bears would score in their 67-60 loss to the nation’s top team.
That sentence alone speaks to just how strong the test SSU presented GC was, even in defeat.
Trailing by a double-digit margin on two different occasions, the Bears scratched and clawed their way back into Monday’s contest and gave the number one team in the country everything they could handle.
In the end, however, it was Georgetown who improved to 13-0 (3-0 MSC) off Monday’s win while Shawnee State’s men’s team falls to 12-5 (2-2 MSC).
“Hats off to Georgetown, number one team in the country. I know for Georgetown, winning at Shawnee has not been the easiest over the last couple of years,” SSU men’s coach Delano Thomas said following the loss. “I thought our guys came in excited to play this game, I thought that kind of wore us out early on in that first five minutes. I definitely think we’re right there at that level, just have to take the next step in some of the details.”
In the early goings of the first half, both teams struggled offensively before the top-ranked Tigers were able to take their first double-digit lead.
Georgetown junior Jake Ohmer’s three to put the Tigers ahead of SSU 28-13 with roughly five minutes to play in the first half was a significant turning point for the remainder of the half, and ultimately the game.
The Bears closed the first half on a 15-0 run over the final five minutes of the half to tie things at 28-all at the midway point.
SSU senior Selby Hind-Wills’ three out of the locker room put a cap on the game’s largest run (18-0), giving the Bears a 31-28 lead to start the second half of play.
“It was the confidence we needed,” Thomas said of his team’s first half run. “At that point, down 15 in the first half, we easily could have folded. But they showed the heart that they have to play for each other.”
Shawnee State would go back-and-forth with Georgetown over the first ten minutes of the second half before the Tigers would go on a 10-2 run late in the half to take a 58-46 lead over the Bears.
However, Thomas’ group had one more run left in them.
SSU closed their 12-point deficit by using a 14-2 run in a three-minute span to tie the game at 60-60 after Johnson’s game-tying field goal.
“They took another run, went up 10 or so, had a big dunk by (Chris) Coffey, and he took control of that game for five-ten minutes himself,” Thomas said. “Once we finally got that momentum back, that’s when we closed it to tie it at 60.”
Georgetown closed Monday’s win on a 7-0 run after Johnson’s layup found the bottom of the net with 2:41 left in the game, putting a stamp of the Bears’ fifth loss this season.
“After we tied the game we missed a layup, and against a championship team like that you can’t miss a layup,” Thomas said. “Even with that being said, we still had opportunities and possessions where we were right there in the game.”
Junior big man EJ Onu, who was recently named to SSU’s All-Decade team, finished with a near triple-double with 13 points, a team-high 12 rebounds, and a game-high nine blocks. SSU sophomore Desmond Crosby Jr. scored a team-high 15 points on 3-for-6 shooting from behind the arc in just 23:39 of game action.
“We do a great job defensively playing off each other,” Thomas said. “EJ (Onu) had a phenomenal game protecting the rim, Desmond (Crosby Jr.) had a career-night. You want to reward those guys with those type of nights with a win, but tonight wasn’t our night.”
The Bears will hit the road for their next four games following Monday’s loss: to Columbia (Ky.) to face No. 19 Lindsey Wilson this Thursday, to Campbellsville University this Saturday, to Pikeville (Ky.) to take on No. 4 University of Pikeville next Wednesday, January 16th, and a January 25th road trip to Williamsburg (Ky.) to face the (RV) University of the Cumberlands.
SSU’s men’s team returns to Portsmouth for a non-conference game versus Lourdes University on Monday, January 27th.
“We have to play together, we have to be road warriors, we have to be cheerleaders, and we have to be coaches to each other,” Thomas said ahead of the Bears’ road trip. “Can’t have any attitudes, any egos, it’s about us trying to figure out how to take this to the next step. When you play a Georgetown team and you really fight, and you have a chance to win like we did, you have to ride that momentum and use that confidence it gives you.”
Georgetown 28 39 – 67
Shawnee State 28 32 – 60
Georgetown (13-0, 3-0 MSC)
Chris Coffey 7 2-5 16, Kyran Jones 6 0-3 14, Jake Ohmer 4 4-5 14, Eljay Cowherd 2 0-0 5, Jacob Conway 4 4-5 15, Jaquay Wales 0 0-0 0, Hugues Mbumba 1 1-2 3; TOTALS: 24 12-21 67; Three-point field goals: 7 (Jones, Ohmer, Conway 2 apiece, Cowherd 1)
Shawnee State (12-5, 2-2 MSC)
Tim Biakapia 2 0-0 4, Selby Hind-Wills 1 0-0 3, Kyree Elder 4 4-4 14, EJ Onu 5 2-2 13, Jakiel Wells 2 0-0 4, Desmond Crosby Jr. 5 2-3 15, Ermias Nega 0 0-0 0, Justin Johnson 3 1-1 7, Dakota Pritchard 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 22 9-10 60; Three-point field goals: 7 (Crosby Jr. 3, Elder 2, Onu and Hind-Wills 1 apiece)
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