UPLAND, Ind. (Men's Basketball) – Jorian Hudson (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) scored a game-high 20 points and Sean Elliott (JR/Canal Winchester, Ohio) added 14, but the Shawnee State men's basketball team fell victim to the deadly three-point shooting of NAIA Division II opponent Taylor University, 79-58, on Tuesday night at Odle Arena.
The Trojans went 13-for-21 from behind the arc, including a 5-of-7 performance from Jesse Coffey and a 3-of-4 mark for leading scorer Keaton Hendricks, as the home squad broke away in the closing minutes of the first half and never succumbed to an SSU threat in the second half en route to the victory.
Andrew Bendolph (SR/Portsmouth, Ohio) tacked on 12 points and Jacob Daniels (SO/Peebles, Ohio) grabbed a team-high seven boards for the Bears in defeat. Statistically the Trojans, who connected on just 49.0 percent of field goals, did not particularly run SSU out of the gym. The clear difference on the box score came in the mark from three-point land.
Shawnee State fell behind 15-9 in the opening minutes, and the Trojans extended that lead to 21-11 on a three-pointer from Shakir Dunning with 11:46 on the clock.
SSU followed with a Hudson triple, a three from Elliott, a deuce from Jacob Daniels and a Hudson basket to cut all surrounding a Taylor free throw, which cut the home squad's lead to 22-21 in less than three minutes. Following a bucket from the Trojans, Elliott again connected from three and the score was tied.
SSU grabbed a 28-27 lead with 5:20 remaining in the half, but hit the skids for the rest of the period. Taylor would go on to score 13 of the next 15 points during that span, using a fast-paced motion offense, which found the Trojans open on several three-point attempts.
Despite trailing by 12, Shawnee State actually outshot Taylor in the first half, hitting 12-of-23 shots for a 52.2 percent clip. The Bears were tortured by 11 turnovers in the half, compared to just four from the Trojans.
The second half opened with more of the same, as Taylor opened the period on an 11-2 run, pushing the advantage to its largest point at 53-32, four minutes into the half.
For the remainder of the period, Taylor was content to milk the shot clock and control possessions. Shawnee State cut the deficit to 14 on a three-point play from Hudson with just under five minutes remaining, but was unable to get any closer in the waning minutes of the contest.
The Bears finished the game 21-for-53 from the field, connecting on 39.6 percent of shots. Taylor was good from the field, hitting 24-of-49, but especially deadly from three-point range, specifically during the first half. The Trojans hit 9-of-14 from behind the arc in the first period.
Shawnee State is back on the road Sunday, traveling to Fort Wayne, Ind., for a non-conference bout with Indiana Tech. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m.