BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — The men’s basketball program at Shawnee State enjoyed yet another well-balanced offensive performance, placing five players in double-figures including a double-double from Amier Gilmore in a 90-75 victory over Cumberland (Tenn.) in the Mid-South Conference’s quarterfinal round Sunday evening.
Shooting 47.8 percent offensively while holding Cumberland to 34.7 percent shooting on the defensive end of the floor, Shawnee State was able to win its 20th straight affair.
The Bears never trailed in the contest and only faced one moment where their lead was even in doubt — a 2-2 deadlock that remained in place for just 23 seconds before Shawnee State used a bucket from EJ Onu to lead throughout the remaining 37:41 of play.
Gilmore posts big game
With a tough duo of frontcourt players in Aaron Ridley and Issac Stephens battling against him, junior forward Amier Gilmore continued to prove how valuable he has been throughout the 2020-21 season.
The junior forward from Eastpointe, Mich. scored his 12 points efficiently, going 5-of-8 from the field, and posted five offensive rebounds to lead the Bears in that category while totaling 12 rebounds.
Gilmore notched eight points and eight rebounds in the second half alone to help SSU maintain firm control as the Bears’ lead never dropped below 10 points during the second half of play.
Jones, Onu prove First-Team All-MSC worth
As if there were any doubters to the talents that James Jones and EJ Onu bring to table, the pair certainly silenced those with their double-figure efforts that also featured strong play throughout the box.
Jones, a senior from Chicago, Ill., scored 13 of his team-high 17 points in the second half of competition while adding in a team-best five assists on the evening. He played a team-high 34:03 in the contest.
Onu, meanwhile, added in nine of his 12 tallies in the first half while continuing to dominate play on the defensive interior as evidenced by his four second-half blocks. His 1,469 career points have Onu just 20 points away from matching Antwain Lavender for third-place in career scoring, while his 483 blocks have Onu within 17 of 500 for his standout, four-year career.
Carlisle, Mitchell, Thomas continue reliable play off of bench
Leading an outstanding effort from Shawnee State’s bench, the play of Miles Thomas, Latavious Mitchell and Donoven Carlisle proved to be critical throughout.
Thomas, a Second-Team All-MSC honoree, dropped nine of his 16 points in the opening half and wasted no time filling up the stat sheet from then on, going 4-of-7 from three-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line while adding five rebounds, three blocks and a steal to boot.
Mitchell, a freshman who has proven to be a budding star throughout the year, posted 11 points and five rebounds in just 13 minutes while going 5-of-7 from the field while Carlisle posted a strong floor game himself, notching nine points, six rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal while shooting 4-of-6 from the floor.
Behind the trio’s efforts, Shawnee State’s bench outscored Cumberland (Tenn.)’s bench by a 43-12 margin in the contest.
With the win, No. 1-seeded Shawnee State will play No. 5-seeded Martin Methodist (Tenn.) in the Mid-South Conference Semifinals. Those will take place at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT Monday evening.
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