The women’s basketball program at Shawnee State will begin its Mid-South Conference Tournament journey Friday evening as the Bears — who are seeded No. 3 overall in the tournament bracket — will face No. 6-seeded Cumberlands (Ky.) at Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Ky.
A full preview of Friday’s Mid-South Quarterfinal between the two programs is below. The contest begins at 7:30 p.m. CST/8:30 p.m. EST.
NAIA No. 9 Shawnee State women (26-4, 13-3 Mid-South)
- Shawnee State finished the regular season with double-digit victories in 19 of its 30 contests, including a 75-55 victory over Cumberlands at Waller Gymnasium in Portsmouth. The Bears were also 7-2 in single-digit affairs, including a 72-64 win over the Patriots on the road, during the regular season.
- SSU is second in NAIA Division I field goal percentage (46.6), sixth in scoring offense (2,525), seventh in scoring offense (84.2), and 10th in steals (350). The Bears are also ranked in the top-12 overall in steals per game (11.7), scoring margin (plus-18.4), and turnover margin (plus-5.3).
- Shawnee State has three players (Bailey Cummins, Brandie Snow, and Anyia Pride) scoring in double-figures and five players averaging at least 7.6 points per game or more. The Bears have had 11 of their 13 players score in double-figures at least once this season, with 10 players scoring in double-figures at least twice.
- Jeff Nickel currently sits just eight wins off of 200 victories for his career. The seventh-year head coach holds a 192-51 record at Shawnee State.
NAIA (RV) Cumberlands (Ky.) women (19-11, 6-10 Mid-South)
- Cumberlands’ 19 wins in 2019-20 is the first time that the Patriots have won at least 19 games in a season since the 2013-14 campaign.
- The Patriots are fourth in the NAIA in defensive three-point field goal percentage (26.3 percent), sixth in rebounding margin (plus-8.8), sixth in rebounding defense (31.7), ninth in defensive field goal percentage (35.5 percent), and ninth in total steals (363).
- Cumberlands has also put three of its players (Silvia Veloso, Vilma Covane, and Carla Covane) in double-figures. The Patriots have had 12 of their 13 active players score in double-figures in at least one game this season.
- Win the rebounding battle. Shawnee State defeated Pikeville by a seven-point margin, but SSU was crushed by UPike by a plus-19 margin on the glass. Against Cumberlands — who features five players over six feet in its lineup — the rebounding margin was dead even in Shawnee State’s 20-point victory. Maximizing possessions will be big for the Bears throughout.
- Continue strong ball movement. Over the last month-and-a-half, Shawnee State has continued to build on excellent ball movement and on court awareness. That continued on Saturday, when the Bears posted 14 assists on its 27 made field goals in the 84-77 victory over UPike. SSU, who had 17 assists on 28 made baskets against Cumberlands, will only increase their chances with their play on the offensive end.
Friday’s contest, along with any remaining contests that the Shawnee State women will be involved in, will be broadcasted at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/shawneest/. The games themselves will have a live video feed as well, which is available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/midsouthconf/. All contests are free of charge.
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.