SSU women bounce Blue Raiders

PORTSMOUTH — The Shawnee State women’s basketball team, once again in Mid-South Conference competition, proved to be rock-solid throughout.

The host Bears forced 17 turnovers, held Lindsey Wilson to 30-percent shooting from the field and got a double-double from Brandie Snow —all while collecting a 77-58 triumph over the Blue Raiders on Thursday evening to stay right in the thick of the conference race.

Shawnee State, which put eight different players in the scoring column, led for 38:41 of the 40-minute affair en route to the 19-point win.

The Bears won by double digits at home for the seventh time in nine games, and also posted 12 assists on 29 field goals — while gaining a 42-38 rebounding advantage.

“Our kids came out and executed our defensive gameplan really well,” Shawnee State head coach Jeff Nickel said. “It was an excellent performance by everyone.”

Snow continues

statsheet assault

Once more, it was Snow who proved to have an outstanding night on the statsheet.

By halftime, Snow already posted a 10-point, 10-rebound statline and continued her outstanding efficiency throughout the contest, notching a 20-point, 13-rebound affair.

She played a team-high 34 minutes and three seconds in the win — and added in four steals to slightly increase her seasonal average in that category.

“I thought that Brandie was really persistent,” Nickel said. “Throughout the game, from start to finish, she continued to attack. I thought that she did an outstanding job of rebounding the basketball for us, and really helped us a ton in that area.”

For her career, Snow passed the 1,200-point plateau with her 20-point outing.

The junior now has 1,210 points, 531 rebounds and 217 steals in less than three years — passing Kelli Smith and Carrie Brisker in career scoring and now sitting 21st all-time in that category.

Snow is also just four swipes back of Brisker for sixth-place all-time in steals, and nine back of Mallory Albers for a top-five position in school history in thefts.

Holland provides continuous

lift off of bench

For the seventh time in the 2020-21 season, Marnae Holland reached double figures with her play.

Thursday’s performance against Lindsey Wilson was one of her best all-around showings.

Holland, known for her aggressive style, notched eight points in both halves en route to a 16-point, five-rebound performance.

The junior also provided an outstanding defensive effort, posting three steals — including two in the second half — to raise Shawnee State’s defensive intensity up another bar.

“Marnae was extremely solid, played a really good, well-balanced game, was good on the defensive end, and was able to get out in transition as well,” Nickel said. “She was really able to ignite us and give us a spark off of the bench.”

Roney, Pride, Zuchowski post

well-balanced offensive showing

Playing against a Blue Raiders’ frontline that matched up well in height, Carson Roney, Anyia Pride and Natalie Zuchowski all played promising basketball as a group.

The trio, who combined for 28 points and 18 rebounds between them, supplied Shawnee State with good low-post positioning, strong defensive communication and enough offensive firepower to keep Lindsey Wilson honest.

Roney scored seven of her 11 points in the second half, Zuchowski notched five of her nine tallies in the opening frame, and Pride scored four points in each of the 20-minute stanzas.

“All three had good defensive efforts and were solid in their opportunities,” Nickel said. “I thought that they took advantage of those and played really well.”

Kallner, Elzy run show effectively

Of the 12 assists Shawnee State tallied up on the evening, five came courtesy of the Bears’ lead guards — Abbie Kallner and Kambrayia Elzy.

The former was lauded for her ability to push the ball in transition while Elzy, who scored eight points and matched Pride with a team-high three assists, threw in several filthy feeds in showing off her own strong playmaking abilities.

“Abbie did a great job of getting us out in transition, forcing the tempo, and got us running,” Nickel said. “Kam was really good with her playmaking ability and was able to find some people going to the rim, which gave us good chances to convert.”

Next Up

With the win, Shawnee State (13-3, 7-3 MSC) will face visiting Cumberland, Tenn. (2-8, 1-8 MSC) on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in Waller Gymnasium.

The Phoenix are certainly not an opponent to sleep on, as evidenced by their improvement in playing three conference opponents to within a dozen points or less.

The Bears also beat the Phoenix by a scant eight-point margin (77-69) at home back on Dec. 5, 2019 in a tight affair.

“They’ve been playing really good basketball,” Nickel said. “Cumberland plays well as a team and has improved a great deal as they are well-coached. They’ve been playing well of late and we’re going to have to play well on Saturday if we want to get a win.”

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