The Shawnee State Men's Basketball Team held off a late rally by Pikeville to knock off the top-ranked team 86-84. Shawnee State improves to 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in the Mid-South. Pikeville falls to 6-2 overall and 0-2 in the MSC.
Shawnee State opened the game with back-to-back layups to take the 4-0 advantage and maintained the two possession lead early. Pikeville fought back and took their first lead of the game on a 3-pointer by Trevor Setty. The Bears reclaimed the lead, 17-16, as freshman Austin Vance connected with sophomore Andrew Devlin with 9:35 left in the first half. Another 3-pointer by Pikeville, this time by Chris McHenry gave Pikeville the 19-17 advantage. Pikeville held the lead until Shawnee State tied it at 33-33 with 1:39 left on a pair of free throws by junior Tyler Boyles. Setty answered as he nailed his third 3-pointer of the first half to recapture the lead. A Bears turnover and a layup by Pikeville's Chris Watson extended their lead to 38-33. Shawnee State cut the lead to 38-35 with a pair of free throws by junior Tyler Morgan to end the half.
The second half opened in a fast pace battle that saw seven lead changes and three ties. Neither team could shake the other one as no one lead by more than four in the first 10 minutes. With 11:03 remaining a layup by Morgan reclaimed the Bears lead at 60-59. Shawnee State added to their lead and lead by as many as nine, 79-70, with 4:28 remaining. Pikeville rallied back and with a pair of free throws and another 3-pointer by Setty, Pikeville cut the Bears' lead to 79-75 with 2:56 left in the game. Freshman Jarred Quinlan converted two free throws to extend the lead back to six. Pikeville hit two free throws of their own with 1:53 remaining to cut the lead again to four. On the other end, junior Ian Nixson found Morgan for a layup to make it a six point game. Pikeville's Andrew Young answered with a jumper. A missed layup for the Bears opened the door for Pikeville to cut the lead to 83-82 with a long range jumper by McHenry. With 35 seconds remaining, freshman Leo Devlin hit 1-of-2 at the line to give Shawnee the 84-82 lead and McHenry answered with a layup to knot the game with 24 seconds left. The Bears played for one shot, and with time running down Boyles connected with Leo Devlin for the winning basket as time expired to allow the Bears to hand No. 1 ranked Pikeville their second consecutive loss.
"The team came out ready to play," states Bears' Assistant Coach Jay Eason. "They wanted to win. Our persistence and attention to detail on both sides of the ball was incredible. They did all the little things right and were successful."
Morgan and Nixson led the Bears with 19 points apiece. Nixson also dished out a season-high seven assists. Boyles finished the game with 16 points, while junior Mark Bryant added 10.
Setty led Pikeville with 19 points, while Young finished with 16.
Shawnee State shot an outstanding 58% from the field, making 32-of-55 attempts. Pikeville went 28-for-59 from the floor for 48%. From beyond the arc, Shawnee hit seven 3-pointers for 44%, while Pikeville drained 11 3-pointers for 46%. At the line, Shawnee State converted 15-of-22 attempts for 68%. Pikeville went 17-for-20 for 85%.
Shawnee State hosts Wilmington College to open home action on Wednesday, November 23 in a non-conference contest. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. in the Frank and Janis Waller Gymnasium.