LEBANON, Tenn. —The Shawnee State men’s basketball team cut a 23-point Cumberland (Tenn.) deficit to nine in the closing minute of action against the host Phoenix, but weren’t able to complete the comeback as the Bears dropped a 68-57 decision on Thursday evening in a Mid-South Conference contest held in Lebanon, Tenn.
Shawnee State, which fell to 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in MSC competition, was forced into 19 turnovers in Thursday’s defeat — while Cumberland (Tenn.) committed just nine on its own line.
The Bears owned a 46-34 edge on the glass (plus-12 rebounding margin), but went just 19-of-59 from the field, including a 7-of-30 mark from long range.
With another strong line, E.J. Onu continued to etch himself among the NAIA’s — and the nation’s — all-time great defenders.
His 10-point, 10-rebound, six-block line not only resulted in a double-double, but allowed Onu to join names such as Tim Duncan, Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O’Neal in eclipsing the 400-block mark for a career.
Onu’s 403 blocks have come in just 98 career games for a 4.1 blocks per game average.
Onu — who also increased his career scoring mark to 1,114 — passed Justin Patrick, Keelyn Franklin and Fred Moore to move inside the top-15 in school history in scoring, and sits just three points away from tying Travis Merry’s 12th-place mark of 1,117 points.
Merry is a SSU Hall of Famer.
Johnson puts together
late spurt for Bears
Mostly held in check throughout the game, Kobie Johnson caught fire late.
With Shawnee State trailing by a 62-39 margin with 3:44 to play, Johnson gave the Bears late life — draining three consecutive three-point attempts to spearhead a 16-3 run and bring SSU to within 10 points.
The Bears cut the gap to nine, but weren’t able to get closer than 66-57 in the 11-point setback.
Johnson, who went 4-of-10 from deep, matched James Jones with a team-high 12 points.
Shawnee State is scheduled to face Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT.
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