SSU’s Cummins captures MSC POY


With five Mid-South Conference Player of the Week awards, the program’s all-time assist record, and CoSIDA and All-Academic Mid-South Conference honors already in her arsenal, Shawnee State’s Bailey Cummins only added to her list of outstanding achievements on Thursday.

Cummins, the SSU senior point guard, accumulated the 2019-20 Mid-South Conference’s Player of the Year Award to become the first player in four years, and only the fourth in the history of the women’s basketball program, to obtain MSC Player of the Year honors.

In addition to Cummins, sophomore wing Brandie Snow joined her backcourt teammate on the First-Team All-MSC list, while Anyia Pride and Carson Roney each obtained Second-Team All-MSC accolades.

Leah Wingeier rounded out the list of SSU honorees by representing the Bears on the Mid-South Conference’s Champions of Character list.

Cummins, who became the first player to earn conference player of the year honors since Ali Zieverink obtained back-to-back Mid-South Conference Player of the Year honors during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, enters Mid-South Conference Tournament play with averages of 18.7 points, 5.8 assists and four rebounds per game — and is ranked inside the national top-10 in four different categories, including assists (third, 173), assists per game (fifth, 5.8), total scoring (fifth, 561 points) and free-throw percentage (seventh, 88.3-percent).

Along with Cummins and Zieverink, Alannah Sheets, a 2020 SSU Hall of Famer, and Erica Hayes — a 2005 SSU Hall of Famer who obtained American Mideast Conference, NAIA Division II Player of the Year and the program’s lone national title in 1999 — are the only additional players to ever be named as a conference POY from the Shawnee State women’s basketball ranks.

In the regular season, Cummins scored 20 or more points 12 times and posted 30 or more tallies on three different occasions — including a career-high 39-point outing in a thrilling 103-101 double-overtime victory over No. 1 Campbellsville on Feb. 6.

Cummins also shot at least 62.5-percent or better from the field in eight different contests, had four games where she shot at least 66.7-percent or better from three-point range, posted seven or more assists in 11 bouts during the regular season, collected seven or more rebounds in six contests during the year, and garnered at least two or more steals in a ridiculous 19-of-30 contests over the course of the year.

Along with each of the above stats for the season, Cummins was one of only two players on the roster — the other being Snow — to play and start in each of Shawnee State’s 30 games, and capped that stat off by scoring in double-figures in 28 of Shawnee State’s 30 contests.

The senior has led SSU to a 113-21 record over the course of her career and sits as the program’s all-time leader in assists (644), assists per game (4.8), and free-throw percentage (87-percent).

Her 1,837 points rank fourth all-time in school history.

Dependable Snow

Not much snow fell in Portsmouth during the winter in 2020, but on the court, opponents certainly got a blizzard inside various gyms due to the two-way play of Snow, who averaged 14.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, three steals, and 2.7 assists per game during the 2019-20 regular season.

The sophomore, who earned First-Team All-MSC accolades, scored in double-figures in 25 of Shawnee State’s 30 contests during the regular season.

Her presence was immediately felt defensively in the Bears’ season opener — when Snow collected 11 steals to set the school’s all-time record for steals in a game in a 105-46 blowout of Lourdes.

Snow currently sits 12th in the NAIA in steals (92) and steals per game (three), and is 20th in field-goal percentage (48.8).

Pride, Roney define versatility

A pair of forwards with length, quickness and the ability to guard multiple positions are only growing in value, especially as the game of basketball increases in pace.

Pride and Roney have been huge to Shawnee State’s success due to their play as versatile forwards who can score inside, knock down the open jump shot out to the three-point stripe, run the floor, and defend the paint effectively.

Pride, who has scored in double-figures in 19 of her 30 contests this season, has scored in double-figures in each of her last seven contests and in 10 of the Bears’ last 12 games overall.

Roney, meanwhile, has scored in double-figures in six of Shawnee State’s last nine games and has four double-doubles this season — despite missing each of the Bears’ first five contests after working her way back from injury.

Overall, the duo is combining to average 20.3 points and 10 rebounds per game this season.

Wingeier winner off the floor

Shawnee State’s Leah Wingeier represented the Bears as one of the nine Champions of Character Award winners as part of the new team format where a player from each team is picked.

The junior forward, a biology major, has been a part of several volunteer projects — including the Alkali Creek Elementary School trip that Shawnee State has participated in — and is part of a program where each of the 13 players on the roster have a GPA of 3.0 or above.

Additional

SSU, the No. 3 seed in the Mid-South Conference Tournament, played No. 6 Cumberlands (Ky.) on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. in the MSC Tournament quarterfinals.

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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