Cummins’ game-winner in 2OT lifts Bears past Tigers

Over its program history, the women’s basketball program has put together many memorable moments that have proven to be galvanizing ones.

Thursday evening’s matchup between No. 7 Shawnee State and No. 2 Campbellsville will go down as one of those moments for the Bears.

The women’s basketball program at Shawnee State put together a performance for the ages on Thursday evening, as a career-high 39 points from Bailey Cummins to go along with 10 assists and the game-winning floater with four seconds to play led SSU to a scintillating 103-101 double-overtime victory over CU at Waller Gymnasium in Portsmouth.

The thrilling finish, which tied Shawnee State for first place overall in the Mid-South on record (9-2) and moved the Bears to 22-3 overall on the year, came about in large part to the Bears’ ball movement, where SSU posted 27 assists on 41 made baskets. This display of quick and precise teamwork allowed the Bears to post a 56.2 percent mark from the field.

Shawnee State, as a result, came back from two four-point deficits in the first and second overtimes — including a 101-97 deficit in double overtime — to take home the victory.

Cummins, who scored 22 of her career-high 39 points in the second half and overtime sessions, posted her 10 dimes while turning the ball over just three times.

Carson Roney added in another huge performance off of the bench, with the junior forward scoring 13 points in the second half and extra frames, while Sydney King and Brandie Snow combined for 17 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists and Anyia Pride added in 12 points, five rebounds, two steals and a block to boot.

Down 31-29 after a short 10-foot jumper from Madison Faulkner with 7:09 to play in the first half, the Bears got excellent contributions from Cummins and Roney as Roney scored six points while Snow added in five, Cummins four and King two during the well-balanced spurt that saw Shawnee State finish the half with 10 assists on 20 made baskets and put its lead to a game-high nine, 46-37, at the end of the first half of competition.

Ahead by a 53-46 margin following low-post baskets from Roney and Natalie Zuchowski, along with a pair of free throws from Cummins, Shawnee State briefly lost the lead, 55-54, behind a 9-1 run by the Tigers. However, Shawnee State reclaimed the lead on a brillant backdoor read by Marnae Holland, and the sophomore, along with Roney, scored Shawnee State’s remaining six points to give the Bears a 61-57 lead after three quarters of action.

In the final frame, both teams begin a relentless, all-out tug-of-war with the lead that resulted in Shawnee State and Campbellsville duking it out in overtime following a Lexy Lake trey with less than 15 seconds to play to tie the score at 85 apiece.

During the overtime sessions, Cummins and Roney took over.

With two four-point gaps to make up at different portions in the game, the duo combined for 15 of Shawnee State’s 18 points in both overtime periods. Fittingly, Roney, who took a high-low pass from Sydney King en route to scoring on the left block, tied the game at 101 with her bucket, then after securing the defensive rebound on a Shawnee State stop, found Cummins just past midcourt.

Cummins weaved her way to the right side of the floor, then pulled up with her patented floater from 10 feet to help put Shawnee State ahead for the final time. Madison Faulkner’s buzzer-beating attempt following a Campbellsville timeout was off of the mark, allowing SSU to close out the victory.

Shawnee State will look to claim full control of the Mid-South Conference regular season race when the Bears take on No. 14 Lindsey Wilson on Saturday at 2 p.m. The Bears will look to avenge a 87-77 defeat to the Blue Raiders on Thursday, Jan. 9.

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