PORTSMOUTH — New year, same level of winning from the Shawnee State University women’s basketball program.
In their first game of 2021, a Mid-South Conference game versus Georgetown College (Ky.) on Thursday, the Bears dominated on defense — earning an 82-51 win over the Tigers to improve their record to 11-2 and 5-2 in the MSC.
The 31-point win is SSU’s second-largest home win of the 2020-21 season, behind only its 110-46 win over UC-Harrodsburg in the season opener.
Coach Jeff Nickel’s group led by as many as 40 points by the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter — before Georgetown cut it to nine by the time the final buzzer sounded.
“In the second half, we were able to get into their zone so we could start carving out some shots and looks in the high post, low-post entries,” Nickel said. “Started opening up the paint more and that opened the three-point shot. Thought we did a really good job of having some balance on the inside and outside.”
The Bears’ defense certainly set the tone early — as they allowed the Tigers to score just eight points through the first quarter, taking a 22-8 lead into the back end of the first half.
In total, SSU forced 25 Georgetown turnovers — and held it to just 38.2-percent shooting from the field at a 21-of-55 clip.
By comparison, the Bears attempted 12 more shots than their guests, connecting at a 44.8-percent mark on 30-of-67 shooting.
“I thought we had good positioning. Our players did a great job, coaching staff did a great job on the scouting report,” Nickel said. “I think we understood their personnel, what they were trying to do and their concepts on offense and were able to get them to take tough shots.”
Five of SSU’s 12-made threes came off the hand of defending NAIA National Player of the Week award winner, junior guard Brandie Snow.
Snow outpaced her team-best 17.8 points per game average by pouring in a game-high 19 in the 31-point win.
“She (Snow) had 19, but it doesn’t show how complete of a game she plays,” Nickel said, of his junior guard. “She plays defense, she rebounds, passes the ball extremely well, and she can score from everywhere. She’s been really, really big for us.”
Snow was one of three Bears who reached double figures, ahead of junior Anyia Pride who had 15 on 6-of-9 shooting — and Natalie Zuchowski who added 13 points off the bench.
Senior forward Carson Roney led SSU in rebounding with a game-high seven, pacing the Bears in their 33-30 rebounding advantage over the Tigers.
With six games remaining in the month of January, and 15 games remaining in their regular-season schedule, Nickel says the Bears are focusing on continuing building their depth and rotations so they’re ready come the postseason.
“We’ve just got to continue to build our depth,” Nickel said. “Build our depth, continue to guard. We’re shooting the ball a lot better, made 12 threes tonight. We’ve never relied on the three, even though we’ve made a lot of threes in past years. We want to continue that inside-out game, continue to carve out our identity will be big for us.”
Shawnee State’s previously-scheduled game versus No. 2 Campbellsville University for Saturday (Jan. 9) had been postponed, meaning the Bears are next in action on Thursday (Jan. 14) when they’ll travel to McKenzie, Tenn. to face conference newcomer Bethel University.
Georgetown College (Ky.) 8 15 14 14 — 51
Shawnee State 23 20 16 23 — 82
GEORGETOWN COLLEGE (Ky.) 51 (1-5)
Jalynn Landersicht 0 0-0 0, Raegan Williams 3 0-0 6, Madison Darnell 0 2-2 2, Grace White 4 0-1 9, Alexis Stapleton 2 0-0 5, Lauren Boblitt 3 0-0 8, Terri Abram 0 0-0 0, Shelbi Wilson 0 0-0 0, Maddie Burcham 3 0-0 7, Lexi Taylor 3 1-1 7, Michaela Kennedy 0 0-0, Kallie Sheron 1 0-0 3, Callie Jackson 2 0-0 4; TOTALS 21 3-4 51; Three-point field goals: 6 (lauren Boblitt 2, Grace White, Alexixs Stapleton, Maddie Burcham and Kallie Sheron 1 apiece)
No. 7 SHAWNEE STATE 82 (11-2, 5-2 MSC)
Carson Roney 3 0-2 6, Anyia Pride 6 2-4 15, Brandie Snow 7 0-0 19, Abbie Kallner 3 0-0 8, Bethany Mackin 1 0-0 2, Evelyn Oktavec 3 0-0 9, Marnae Holland 1 3-4 5, Erika Hendrixson 0 0-0 0, Hagen Schaefer 1 2-2 5, Natalie Zuchowski 5 3-3 13; TOTALS 30 10-15 82; Three-point field goals: 12 (Brandie Snow 5, Evelyn Oktavec 3, Abbie Kallner 2, Anyia Pride and Hagen Schaefer 1 apiece)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved