SSU women remain at No. 7 in NAIA D-I poll

The women’s basketball program at Shawnee State garnered 177 points to remain in seventh place overall ahead of a showdown against UPike, who was receiving votes in the previous ranking release and sits with a 13-7 overall record.

SSU’s No. 7 ranking marks the 53rd consecutive poll where the Bears have been ranked in the NAIA Division I Top 25, extending a streak that has been in place since Dec. 9, 2014. That ties the school record of 53 consecutive poll rankings from Nov. 9, 1999 to Oct. 26, 2004, when Shawnee State was at the NAIA Division II realm.

Shawnee State, who moved to 18-2 overall and 5-1 in Mid-South Conference action, leads the Mid-South Conference standings. On Jan. 4, the Bears came back from a late four-point deficit in the second half to defeat then-No. 21 Thomas More, which halted a 112-game home conference winning streak for the Saints. The women’s basketball program then collected a 87-67 victory over Georgetown, and recovered from a 87-77 loss to No. 12 Lindsey Wilson by handing No. 3 Campbellsville — who was No. 1 — its first defeat of the season, 79-64, on Saturday.

With their victories over Thomas More and Campbellsville over the last week-and-a-half, Shawnee State currently sits 5-2 against ranked opponents or opponents receiving votes during the 2019-20 season. The Bears also defeated No. 13 Talladega (82-74) on Nov. 18, No. 14 MidAmerica Nazarene on Nov. 30 (80-73), and (RV) Faulkner (80-69) on Dec. 13.

Nationally, SSU ranks first in the country in scoring offense (1,731 points), is third in total assists (307), total steals (264) and scoring offense per game (86.6) and is fourth in scoring margin (plus-24), field goal percentage (46.5) and total rebounding offense (810).

Individually, Bailey Cummins and Sydney King have combined to win three Mid-South Conference Player of the Week honors, while Cummins (17.1 points), Brandie Snow (14.3 points) and Anyia Pride (11.3 points) are all averaging double-figure tallies for the Bears this season. Cummins leads the nation in total assists (122) while Snow sits second in the NAIA in steals (69).

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