CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — The No. 6-ranked Shawnee State men’s basketball team continued its outstanding season on Monday night, as the Bears matched the program record with their 22nd win of the 2020-21 season — matching only a feat that the 2001-02 unit has accomplished — in a 77-68 victory over No. 20 Thomas More at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Ky.
Shawnee State, which matched the program record for wins in a season by winning its 18th consecutive game, shot a strong 47.7-percent from the field, notched a plus-six rebounding advantage on the glass (40-34), and held Thomas More to a scant 37.7-percent shooting mark — including a 28.6-percent clip from the floor in the second half.
in second half
Coming off his fourth Mid-South Conference Player of the Week honor of the 2020-21 season, James Jones overcame a tough first half by putting together a tremendous second-half performance.
Over the course of the final 20 minutes, Jones put together 12 points and three assists in the second half — while going 5-of-8 from the floor.
The 6-4 senior ended up leading the Bears with 19 points and four assists, all while adding five rebounds in the nine-point win.
Onu, Gilmore put up
strong first halves
With Shawnee State (22-2, 17-1 MSC) and Thomas More (13-7, 11-7 MSC) trading spurts back and forth throughout the opening half, E.J. Onu and Amier Gilmore stepped up big for the Bears in the first.
Onu notched 11 of his 13 points in the opening half on high efficiency, shooting 4-of-8 from the field and 3-of-5 from long distance en route to a 13-point, six-rebound outing — while Gilmore posted six of Shawnee State’s first eight points in the game, ultimately finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.
Jones, second unit are keys
to game-deciding run
Up by just a pair at 49-47, and with 16:56 to play in the contest, Shawnee State used a five-man lineup primarily consisting of Jones, Miles Thomas, Latavious Mitchell, Donoven Carlisle and Shawn Paris Jr. to turn the tables.
Over the game’s next 9:50, Shawnee State completely put things out of reach behind the quintet’s efforts — with four of those five players scoring in a 28-7 spurt that put the Bears up by a 23-point margin (77-54) with 6:06 to go.
Jones scored 12 of his 19 total points during the run, while Mitchell and Thomas combined for 10 of Shawnee State’s 12 points at one time during it— keeping the Bears in front for good.
Thomas finished with nine points, while Mitchell (eight points, four rebounds) and Carlisle (seven points, five rebounds, two steals) contributed heavily to the winning result.
Behind the duo, Jakiel Wells’ six points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals — while committing zero turnovers — and Isaac Abergut’s five points and three rebounds each led Shawnee State in the nine-point victory.
Shawnee State was scheduled to return home on Thursday and Saturday against Freed-Hardeman and Bethel for its final home contests of the season.
Game times are set for 8 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively, as the Bears will attempt to shoot for breaking the school record for most wins in a single season.
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