PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Men's Basketball) – Devon Carter (JR/Clayton, Ohio) was one of four Shawnee State men's basketball players in double-figures – scoring a game-high 19 points – as the Bears earned their first victory of the season inside of Mid-South Conference play, defeating St. Catharine College, 82-76, on Thursday night at Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium.
Carter connected on 5-of-7 three-pointers and added a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line. As a team, SSU got to the line 43 times in the contest, connecting on 32 freebies. Sean Elliott (JR/Canal Winchester, Ohio) was 8-of-10 from the line and finished with 11 points.
Nick Tingle (JR/Clayton, Ohio) added his first double-double of the season, scoring 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting while grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds. Tingle was also 6-of-8 from the charity stripe. Jorian Hudson (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) added 14 points for SSU.
The Bears got off to an inauspicious start to the contest, fall behind, 16-3, in the opening six and a half minutes. St. Catharine opened with a three-pointer from Ben Vozzola and spent the next six minutes imposing its will on the Bears. A layup from J. Murrell (FR/Columbus, Ohio) at 12:47 ended the run.
From that point on, Shawnee State took over total control of the half. What ensued was a 23-3 run from the Bears, who took a lead with 6:47 remaining in the half and never trailed again in the game.
SSU's scoring run featured three triples and a pair of free throws from Carter. The Bears extended the lead to as many as 10, 34-24, in the half with 1:47 remaining when Carter again connected from long distance, his fourth of the night from deep. The home squad headed into the locker room with a 34-26 advantage.
In the second half, St. Catharine was able to cut the deficit to one when Nick Porter connected from three with 16:30 remaining, but the Bears answered with five straight points to extend the lead back to 41-35.
SSU took its biggest lead to that point in the contest when Tingle hit a pair of free throws at the 9:15 mark, and the Bears held the lead near 10 points over the next eight minutes.
With 1:05 remaining, St. Catharine engineered a spurt which nearly brought the visitors back in the game. Following a three from Vazzola to make it an eight-point game, SCC forced a turnover which led to an easy bucket from Lorenzo Dewberry.
The Bears turned the ball over a second straight time before crossing half court leaving Vozzola open for an attempt which would have made the game a three-point contest. Vozzola's shot rimmed out, however, and the Bears connected on 6-of-8 free throws to put the game on ice.
SSU is back in action Saturday against the No. 1 ranked Campbellsville University at Waller Gymnaisum. The game represents Homecoming weekend for the Bears, with tip-off set for 4:30, following the coronation of the Homecoming king and queen.