The Shawnee State Men's Basketball Team had a strong showing against 14th-ranked Lindsey Wilson College, but in the end the Blue Raiders were too much for the Bears as they won 85-78 on Thursday evening. Shawnee State falls to 7-9 on the season and 2-4 in the MSC, while Lindsey Wilson improves to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in conference action.
Lindsey Wilson built a 17-8 lead early, but the Bears battled back and went on a 12-2 run to capture the lead on a field goal by junior Ian Nixson (Columbus, OH). The Blue Raiders regained the lead but at the 7:19 mark of the first half, junior Mark Bryant's (Milford, OH) basketball gave the Bears the 26-24 advantage. LWC's Josh White answered with a bucket, but the Bears answered with another run. To start the Bears' 6-0 run, Nixson found freshman Colin Kennedy (Catlettsburg, KY) for two. On the next possession Nixson scored in the paint and then he capped off the run hitting a pair of free throws, giving the Bears the 32-26 lead. Lindsey Wilson answered with a 12-0 run of their own and the Bears' ended their drought as Nixson drained a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left. LWC closed the half hitting 1-of-2 free throws to give the Blue Raiders the 39-35 advantage at the break.
The two teams opened the second half exchanging baskets and junior Tyler Boyles (Raceland, OH) pulled the Bears within four, 45-41, as he scored on an assist by Nixson. The Blue Raiders scored eight unanswered points to take a double-digit lead, 53-41. Junior Jeremy Bennington (Blue Creek, OH) stopped Lindsey Wilson's run with a basket in the paint at the 13:28 mark. Lindsey Wilson continued to build their lead and captured their largest lead, 72-52, with 6:38 remaining in the game. The Blue Raiders maintained their double-digit lead until the final two minutes when the Bears made their final run. Trailing 80-66 with 2:17 left, Shawnee State went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 80-73, but seven is as close as the Bears' would get as Lindsey Wilson would hit free throws and go on to win 85-78.
Junior Tyler Morgan (Hamersville, OH) led all scorers with 21 points and 12 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season to go along with three assists. Morgan totals 1,111 career points and become one of the Bears' Top-10 all-time scorers. Bryant added 19 points and nine rebounds, while Nixson finished with 17 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Lindsey Wilson was led by Wesley Hanspard's 18 point performance. Chase Spreen added 17 points and Josh White scored 11 for the Blue Raiders.
Shawnee shot 47 percent from the floor going 29-for-62 in the game. Lindsey Wilson shot 49 percent from the floor. Lindsey Wilson connected on eight 3-pointers for 53 percent, while the Bears' struggled from long range hitting only four for 27 percent. At the line Shawnee State converted 16-of-25 free throws for 64 percent, while the Blue Raiders shot 79 percent at the charity strip.
Shawnee State continues their road trip as they travel to the University of the Cumberlands on Saturday for a conference double-header. Tip-off for the men's game is set for 4:00 p.m.