The women’s basketball program at Shawnee State used yet another big-time effort from Bailey Cummins, along with a red-hot start, to obtain a victory over Life on Thursday evening in a Mid-South Conference matchup that was held in Marietta, Ga.
No. 9 SSU, who improved to 23-4 overall and 10-3 in the Mid-South Conference with the victory, accumulated 16 assists on 31 made shots and shot 56.4 percent from the field (31-of-55) and 41.2 percent from three-point range (7-of-17) for the game to make up for the large amount of turnovers that the Bears committed in the contest. SSU also outrebounded Life by seven (37-30) and forced the Running Eagles (10-15, 2-10 Mid-South) into 22 turnovers of their own.
In a balanced effort by Shawnee State over the first 10 minutes of action, the Bears were able to build on their advantage as SSU took a 13-5 lead by going 5-of-6 from the field to start the game and putting four different players in the scoring column.
Shawnee State ultimately built its advantage to a 20-7 margin with 3:25 to play in the opening quarter before trading baskets with Life from then on, ultimately settling for a 29-17 opening quarter lead behind nine points, three rebounds, and three assists from Cummins, seven points from Brandie Snow, and six from Carson Roney.
The Bears, who put four players in the second-quarter scoring column within the first 4:12 of the frame, used five points from Roney during that span to push its lead to 18 (40-22) with 5:48 to play in the first half. Shawnee State had its advantage cut to a 50-38 margin later in the quarter, but Sydney King’s half-ending trey with 14 seconds left allowed the Bears to push their lead to a 15-point lead, 53-38, at the intermission.
A scoring drought of 4:08 to begin the second half allowed Life to close within 53-46 with less than six minutes remaining in the third quarter of action, but following a personal foul and a technical foul, Shawnee State got four consecutive free throws from Cummins and Bethany Mackin to extend their lead back out to a double-digit margin.
The former, from there on, exploded, scoring 17 of her game-high 30 points over the game’s final 15:52 while adding in seven assists, seven rebounds, and four steals to her statline for the contest. Cummins accumulated those statistics while shooting 11-of-16 from the floor, 2-of-5 from long range, and a perfect 6-of-6 from distance as Shawnee State kept its lead hovering around a seven to nine-point margin to the end of the third frame. The Bears then outscored Life 24-9 to begin the fourth quarter to take as much as a 24-point advantage (90-66, 2:53 left) before coasting to the victory.
In addition to Cummins’ output, Anyia Pride (13 points, six rebounds, two steals), Roney (12 points, four rebounds) and King (10 points, five rebounds, 4-of-5 shooting) all finished in double-figures while Mackin (eight points, four rebounds, three steals), Snow (seven points, four rebounds, three assists) and Abbie Kallner and Natalie Zuchowski (six points apiece, 5-of-7 shooting combined) all contributed to Shawnee State’s strong offensive balance.
The No. 9-ranked Bears will be back in action on Saturday as Shawnee State will play Cumberland (Tenn.) at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT in Lebanon, Tenn. The contest will be Shawnee State’s final Mid-South Conference road bout of the year.
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