Bears grind out overtime win over Tigers


In another defensive clinic, the men’s basketball program at Shawnee State held Campbellsville to 32.4 percent shooting, tallied 10 steals and seven blocks as a unit, and on the offensive end of the floor, got a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double from Tim Biakapia and double-figure outings from EJ Onu and Desmond Crosby, Jr. in a 73-71 overtime victory over the Tigers on Thursday evening at Waller Gymnasium.

SSU, who moved to 17-8 on the year and 6-5 in the Mid-South Conference, broke through in the first overtime by holding Campbellsville scoreless over the first 3:15 of the extra session. During that stretch, Jakiel Wells scored on an assist from Crosby, Jr., Selby Hind-Wills pocketed an elbow three-pointer, and Biakapia scored on a putback to give the Bears the cushion it needed to hold off any late Campbellsville charges.

Down by an 8-2 margin to start the game, Shawnee State rallied back to tie the score within a span of 1:38 as Crosby, Jr. and Onu nailed back-to-back three-pointers to tie the score at eight apiece with 16:47 to play in the opening half.

Both teams traded the lead eight times over the following six minutes of action, but the Bears turned the tables on the Tigers over a span of 3:40 as Shawnee State, down 16-15 with 10:10 left in the opening half, went on a 13-2 push to give SSU a 28-18 lead as four different players, including Crosby, Jr., Biakapia, Dakota Prichard, and Justin Johnson all scored during the spurt.

From there, the Bears kept the lead over the remainder of the half as Shawnee State, who had its lead cut to a three-point margin, got timely buckets from Biakapia and Prichard — who hit his second big three-pointer in the half — to push SSU’s advantage back up to eight at the halftime break.

After getting a low-post bucket from Onu to push the lead to a 36-26 advantage, Campbellsville rallied back into the fray, ultimately taking a 55-52 advantage on a three-pointer from Ronald Taylor.

However, Onu, Biakapia, and Crosby willed SSU to overtime by combining to post each of the next 10 Shawnee State points, with Biakapia’s three-pointer with 3:44 remaining and Crosby’s game-tying free throws with 43 seconds left allowing SSU to send the game to overtime, where the Bears’ heroics kicked in.

Biakapia, who scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half and overtime sessions, shot 7-of-9 from the floor for the Bears — who shot 45 percent for the contest. Crosby added 16 points and eight rebounds on 6-of-12 from the field while Onu’s 13 points, eight rebounds and eight blocks in a team-high 38 minutes, along with Wells’ nine points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, rounded out Shawnee State’s output.

With the win, Shawnee State will turn its attention to a matchup against Lindsey Wilson, which will commence on Saturday at 4 p.m. A win would put the Bears two games ahead of the Blue Raiders as well as Campbellsville, and put SSU in no worse than a third-place tie with Thomas More in the Mid-South Conference standings.

For more information on SSU Bears Athletics, visit www.ssubears.com or visit the Twitter and Facebook pages at https://twitter.com/SSUBears and https://www.facebook.com/SSUBears. For more information on how to join the SSU Bear Club, visit https://givetossu.com/bear-club.

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