UPLAND, Ind. (Men's Basketball) – The Shawnee State men's basketball team trailed for a total of 50 seconds in a 45 minute overtime contest versus Clark University on Friday night at the 32nd Annual Ivanhoes Classic on the campus of Taylor University, but needed extra time to walk away with a 66-62 victory to advance to the tournament finals on Saturday afternoon.
The Bears (6-5) faced an opening two point deficit, but immediately took the lead on a triple from Connor Markins with 19:18 remaining in the opening half – and extended the lead to as many as 15 in the frame – and never trailed again until the first minute of the overtime period.
SSU was led by 11 points from both Devon Carter (SR/Clayton, Ohio) and Dante Dunston (SR/Dallas, Texas), but thrived defensively in the game, forcing 18 Clarke (4-7) turnovers in the contest. The Crusaders were limited to 42.9 percent shooting, while Shawnee State won the rebounding battle, 48-30.
Nick Tingle (SR/Clayton, Ohio) led that charge, grabbing 10 caroms to go along with eight points. Carter added eight boards, and Ethan Moffatt (SR/Somerville, Tenn.) – who finished with seven points and a pair of assists – grabbed six.
The Bears jumped out to a 21-6 advantage in the opening 10 minutes, and headed into the locker room with a 31-22 lead. In the second half, Clarke began to battle back.
The Crusaders opened the second half on a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to two points less than three minutes into the period. The Bears would respond over the next 10 minutes, pushing the lead back to 10, 54-44, with seven minutes and change remaining.
Clarke again responded, closing the second half on an 11-1 run to bring the contest even for the first time in the game. Following a bucket from Clarke's Brenden Dauphin with eight seconds remaining, Tingle's last second attempt fell away to send the game to overtime.
Following a free throw by Moffatt to put the Bears ahead in the extra period, Clarke took just its second lead of the game on a bucket from Chris Thompson. It would be the last time the Crusaders would be on the right side of the scoreboard.
SSU never led by more than four in overtime, but kept pace with response baskets from Nick Gouch (SR/Columbus, Ohio) and Dunston to keep the Crusaders at bay. A pair of free throws from Frederick Moore (SO/Cincinnati, Ohio) put the game away in the closing seconds.
Shawnee State shot just 35.4 percent from the field and 28.6 from three point range, but connected on 14-of-19 free throw attempts in the game. The Bears were aided by five steals from Gouch during the contest.
With the victory, Shawnee State now turns attention to the host school, Taylor for the finals. The Trojans advanced to the finals with a 100-50 victory over Ohio-Chillicothe during the 19th Annual Silent Night Game – a Taylor tradition which was featured on ESPN on Friday.
Tip-off for the championship matchup is slated for 3 p.m. at Odle Arena. Coverage of the game can be found at http://portal.stretchinternet.com/taylor/.