FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Men's Basketball) – The Shawnee State men's basketball team shot an astonishing 70 percent in the second half, and went 27-of-48 in the contest for a 56.3 percent shooting clip, as the Bears outscored Indiana Tech by 10 points in the final 20 minutes to earn an 86-74 victory in a non-conference road bout on Sunday evening at the Schaefer Center.
Sean Elliott (JR/Canal Winchester, Ohio) went off for a career-high 32 points on 9-of-15 shooting – hitting 6-of-10 from three-point range and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. Andrew Bendolph (SR/Portsmouth, Ohio) added 21 points for his second-highest total of the season. Nick Tingle (JR/Clayton, Ohio) also landed in double figures with 13.
The two squads were neck-and-neck for the entirety of the first half, as neither team led by more than four over the first 20 minutes. Following a triple to open the game by Indiana Tech's Franklin Lindsey, SSU jumped ahead 8-4 – capped with a three from Elliott at the 16:54 mark.
The Bears held on to said advantage over the following seven minutes, finally giving way at the 10:14 mark on another Lindsey trey, making it 17-15 in favor of the Warriors. Elliott again responded with a layup to even the score less than a minute later.
SSU trailed by two with 1:34 remaining in the half, but closed the period on a quick 4-0 spurt – coming off a layup from J. Murrell (FR/Columbus, Ohio) and a pair of free throws from Elliott – to head into the locker room with a 36-34 advantage. The Bears would never trail again.
Bendolph kicked off the second half with a layup and Tingle added another, pushing the lead to 40-34 in the opening minutes. Indiana Tech would cut the deficit to four on five separate occasions – even getting within two points on a three from Tanner Watkins with 4:55 to play – but could never bring the score back to even.
Following that three, the Bears rattled off an 8-2 run, as Elliott connected on three free throws, Tingle converted an and-one and Bendolph hit a layup, giving the Bears an 8-0 advantage with less than two minutes to play. A three pointer from Ethan Moffatt (JR/Somerville, Tenn.) handed SSU a 10-point lead on the following possession, the largest of the game.
The Bears put the game on ice, hitting 9-of-10 free throws down the stretch, including a 4-of-4 mark from Bendolph, in the closing minute, bringing the score to its final at 86-74.
Shawnee State put together its best shooting performance of the season, including a 14-for-20 mark in the second half. The Bears also connected on 24-of-28 free throws in the contest.
SSU does not return to action for 17 days, enjoying more than two weeks during the holiday stretch and into the new calendar year. The Bears will open 2015 with a non-conference bout against West Virginia Tech on Jan. 7. Tip-off in Montgomery, W. Va., is slated for 7 p.m.