SSU women earn share of league title

Published 12:40 am Monday, February 27, 2017

LEBANON, TN. — Shawnee State women’s basketball clinched their second consecutive and third overall Mid-South Conference regular season championship on Saturday, surviving a furious second half comeback to defeat Cumberland 72-69.
The Bears dominated the first half, jumping out to an 8-2 lead quickly. Shawnee State continued to build their lead throughout the first quarter before two free throws by former St. Joseph standout Hannah Miller put SSU up 24-12 to end the first quarter.
Shawnee’s Jonessa Moore and Ashton Lovely scored 11 points each in the half to help the Bears build a 17-point advantage, leading 43-26 at halftime.
But in the second half Cumberland mounted a comeback on their senior day.
Julia Fox would cause a great deal of grief for Shawnee State throughout the second half, hitting four threes and shooting 7-of-14 from the field.
Cumberland would outscore Shawnee State 25-13 in the period as Shawnee State’s offense went cold.
The fourth quarter would be a back and forth affair as Shawnee State would try to hold on for the win. Cumberland would get a three from Fox and a layup from Taliah Moore to tie the game at 56.
Fox later  made one out of two shots at the line to give Cumberland a 69-68 lead. However, with Cumberland ratcheting up the defensive pressure, Bailey Cummins would be fouled and would hit both free throws to give Shawnee State the lead back at 70-69.
On the next possession, Fox would turn the ball over to Lovely, who would be fouled and hit two free shots to seal the Shawnee State win and give them the title.
With the win, Shawnee State improves to 28-2 and are 13-1 to end the Mid-South Conference regular season. Cumberland falls to 15-11 and are 4-10 in the league.
Shawnee State will have the top-seed in the Mid-South Tournament due to owning the point differential tiebreaker with Lindsey Wilson. SSU will play on Thursday against No. 8 Life at at 2 p.m. in the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Kentucky.

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