SSU muscles way past No. 11 Cumberlands

PORTSMOUTH — It was another strong showing for the Shawnee State men’s basketball team, which won its fourth game in a row with an 80-72 victory over No. 11 Cumberlands (Ky.) on Thursday evening inside Waller Gymnasium.

Shawnee State, which improved to 8-2 and 4-1 inside Mid-South Conference play, outrebounded Cumberlands (Ky.) by 15 (54-39) — and held the No. 11 Patriots to 31.6-percent three-point shooting in the win.

Seven different players scored for Shawnee State on the offensive end, with four of those seven scoring at least six or more in the victory over Cumberlands (8-3, 2-3 MSC).

The efforts of James Jones and E.J. Onu proved paramount once again — as the star duo combined for 53 points while Amier Gilmore and Isaac Abergut, among others, were critical down the stretch in several different columns.


Showcasing his strong offensive abilities at every stop, Jones reached double figures for the 10th consecutive contest.

Jones scored 18 of his 28 points in the second half to help the Bears get the better of the Patriots in their first outing, via an array of nifty pull-ups and clever drives to the rack.

Through 10 games, the senior from Chicago, Ill. is averaging 20.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game on 49-percent shooting from the field.

Thursday’s outing was his fifth game of at least 20 points or more through 10 games — continuing an outstanding start that ranks among the best in SSU men’s basketball history.

Onu keeps roll going

with 5th double-double

Continuing to showcase a game that is evolving on a daily basis, Onu posted at least a double-double for the third consecutive game — another dominating line of 25 points and 14 rebounds on Thursday evening.

The senior big man from Cleveland, who posted 15 points and nine rebounds in the second half alone, finished the evening with a 9-of-15 mark from the floor.

He scored 12 points over a span of 14 minutes in the second half, helping Shawnee State establish the necessary cushion it needed to close the game out — all while adding a pair of blocks in the second half for good measure.

Thursday evening’s double-double was not only the fifth of the season for the 6-11 Richmond Heights graduate, but kept him in a tie with Georgetown’s Kyran Jones for the most among all conference players.

Nobody else in the conference has more than two.

Other SSU standouts

Behind the top producers in Jones and Onu, others played key roles as well.

Gilmore posted a solid statline of eight points, four rebounds and three assists, while producing critical buckets at huge points in the second half en route to a six-point output.

Abergut hit two three-point goals, including a trey with 18:42 remaining that kept SSU from trailing for the remainder of the contest.

Latavious Mitchell’s energy and hustle on the glass led to an outstanding seven-rebound tally at halftime and a nasty backside flush following a Miles Thomas miss.

Meanwhile, Jakiel Wells proved to be a pest defensively all game, forcing a team-high four steals while also grabbing seven total rebounds.

Thomas, Dakota Prichard and Shawn Paris Jr. also played big minutes in the win.

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