PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Men's Basketball) – The Shawnee State men's basketball team dissipated deficits of 13 and eight on separate occasions in the second half, however No. 18 Campbellsville University finished the game on a 7-0 run to escape the Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium with a 71-62 victory to open Mid-South Conference play on Thursday night.
SSU (3-3, 0-1 Mid-South) was led by a trio in double figures, including 12 points from Ethan Moffatt (SR/Somerville, Tenn.) and Nick Gouch (SR/Columbus, Ohio) – along with 10 from Devon Carter (SR/Clayton, Ohio) – but shot just 6-of-19 from the free throw line while committing 16 turnovers in the defeat.
The Bears jumped out to an early lead, as Gouch and Nick Tingle (SR/Clayton, Ohio) each scored four early points to surge SSU out to a 9-5 advantage. Campbellsville (5-0, 1-0) followed with five straight points to take its first lead of the contest, 10-9. From there, the rest of the first half would feature a back-and-forth affair, as the two squads traded leads six times in the final 14 minutes of the period.
With SSU holding a 26-23 lead following five straight points from Carter with 4:39 remaining in the first, the Tigers would begin an extended run all the way through the 17-minute mark of the second half. The stretch began with eight straight – including four points from Rob Robinson – to head into the break with a 31-26 advantage.
The second half opened with the continuation of the previous run, as the Tigers scored 10 of the first 12 points of the frame to extend the lead to what would be the largest of the game, 41-28, closing the run at 18-2.
SSU would fight back into the contest by the 10-minute mark, as Moffatt connected on five straight, Conor Markins (FR/Ironton, Ohio) hit back-to-back treys and Gouch found an easy layup. Gouch assisted a final bucket from Moffatt to bring an end to a 20-7 run, which brought the score to 48-46.
Campbellsville pushed the lead back to eight again in just two minutes, but four more from Gouch and a layup from Frederick Moore (SO/Cincinnati, Ohio) made it a two point game at 60-58 with 4:20 to play. The two teams traded a couple of buckets before – trailing by four – J. Murrell (SO/Columbus, Ohio) engineered a steal and score to make it 64-62 with 2:39 on the clock.
The Bears would not score again.
Campbellsville connected on seven straight free throws in the closing minutes – four from Hagan Tyler and three from Dii'jon Allen-Jordan – to bring the game to a close.
Shawnee State is right back in action on Saturday, when the Bears will square off in another Mid-South bout with St. Catharine College. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. at Waller Gymnasium.