The women’s and men’s basketball programs at Shawnee State will have two crucial Mid-South Conference matchups ahead as the No. 9 women and the No. 22 men will play Cumberlands (Ky.) in a pair of contests at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday evening.
Thursday’s games will serve as Cancer Awareness, so everybody is encouraged to wear pink as part of the contest itself.
Additionally, senior point guard Bailey Cummins is closing in on a significant milestone. Cummins sits just four assists away from tying, and five from breaking, the all-time career assist record at SSU. The women will be looking for its sixth consecutive 25-win season, while the men will attempt to obtain its first 20-win season since the 2002-03 campaign.
A complete breakdown of the contests are below:
No. 9 SSU women (24-4, 11-3 MSC) vs. (RV) Cumberlands, Ky. (19-7, 6-6 MSC) notes
- In the previous meeting between the two squads, the No. 9 SSU women defeated Cumberlands by a 72-64 margin on Jan. 25 in Williamsburg, Ky.
- Cumberlands’ most notable victory this season is a 60-47 win over No. 22 Thomas More on Dec. 3.
- The Patriots are putting three players in double-figures this season:
- 6-3 junior center Vilma Covane (12.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 55.6 percent shooting)
- 5-7 junior guard Silvia Veloso (12.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 46.1 percent shooting)
- 6-3 junior center Carla Covane (10.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, 48.5 percent shooting)
- Rick Reeves (32-23) is in his second season with the Patriots. The head coaching veteran is 515-479 overall, with stops at Brescia, Cumberland (Tenn.), and NCAA Division I members Liberty, Southern Miss, and Gardner-Webb prior to heading to Cumberlands. Reeves went 420-410 with four Big South Conference Head Coach of the Year Awards at the D-I level.
No. 22 SSU men (19-9, 8-6 MSC) vs. No. 13 Cumberlands, Ky. (20-6, 9-3 MSC) notes
- In their previous meeting, No. 22 SSU (then No. 25) fell by a scant 73-70 margin to No. 13 Cumberlands (then No. 16) on Jan. 25 in Williamsburg, Ky.
- Cumberlands also holds victories over (RV) Thomas More (72-61) and (RV) Pikeville (71-62) this season.
- The Patriots are putting four players in double-figures this season:
- 6-4 redshirt junior guard Tevin Olison (18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 45.9 percent shooting, 43.1 percent three-point shooting)
- 6-9 senior center Caleb Taylor (11.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 64 percent shooting)
- 6-4 senior guard Jordan Griggs (11.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, one steal, 41.9 percent shooting, 41.6 three-point shooting)
- 6-3 redshirt sophomore Jahi Hinson (10.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 43.1 percent shooting)
- Donnie Butcher (431-199) is in his 20th season coaching at Cumberlands. He has led the Patriots to 14 NAIA National Tournament appearances and 17 20-win-or-more campaigns, including this season.
Keys for SSU women/men
- Limit turnovers. Both programs had a litany of them against Cumberlands on the road, with the Shawnee State women turning the ball over 17 times and the men committing 19 misfires. For the women to clinch their sixth straight season of 25 victories or more, and the men to add onto a compelling case for NAIA Tournament inclusion, valuing the basketball will have to continue to be at or near the top of the priority list.
- Win the rebounding battle. In their games against Cumberlands, Shawnee State took home rebounding margin advantages of plus-nine and plus-15 in the women’s and men’s games, respectively. For the Bears to collect victory in both contests, Shawnee State will need to create extra possessions for themselves through that same method.
The contests will be televised at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/shawneest/.
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