LEBANON, Tenn. (Men's Basketball) – Despite shooting 74.1 percent in the second half, the Shawnee State men's basketball team sent Cumberland University to the free throw line 27 times and could not overcome a 12-point halftime deficit, falling 67-63 at the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center.
Sean Elliott (JR/Canal Winchester, Ohio) led the way for the Bears with 21 points, but his final shot – with four seconds remaining, down by three – came up just short and Cumberland connected on one-of-two free throws at the other end to put the game on ice. Nick Tingle (JR/Clayton, Ohio) added 15 points and Nick Gouch (JR/Columbus, Ohio) tacked on nine.
Despite trailing by 12 at the break, Shawnee State got back in the game by hitting a staggering 20-of-27 in the second half, by creating easy looks under the bucket. The Bulldogs, however, maintained a slight advantage over the final 6:37 by answering nearly every SSU spurt.
It was a 10-2 run from the home team which put Cumberland ahead for good, 50-45. The Bears cut the lead to within three on several occasions – and two points twice – during the final stretch, but could not get over the hump and tie the game.
Both offenses struggled in the opening minutes, as CU amassed just a 9-5 lead with 9:42 remaining. Elliott answered with a jumper and a triple to give the Bears a 10-9 lead. To that point, Elliott had accounted for all 10 points for the Bears.
Cumberland pushed the lead back to five at 17-12, before the Bears got buckets from Devon Carter (JR/Clayton, Ohio) and Tingle to cut it to a one-point deficit. However, the Bulldogs would follow with and 11-0 run over the final six minutes to head into the locker room ahead, 28-16.
SSU got back into it quickly in the second half, beginning on a 7-0 spurt. Elliott hit a triple on the Bears' first possession, and Tingle and Jacob Daniels (SO/Peebles, Ohio) each added layup to make it 28-23 just two minutes into the half.
Trailing 35-27 at the 16-minute mark, the Bears embarked on a 10-0 to take a 27-35 advantage. Elliott tied the game with a triple before a Cumberland turnover – Telvin Wilkerson stepped on the line on the inbound – turned into an easy inbound and layup for Gouch to give the Bears the lead, 37-35.
The Bears are back in action Saturday, traveling to Columbia, Ky., to take on Lindsey Wilson College. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. ET.