UPLAND, Ind. (Men's Basketball) – The Shawnee State men's basketball team trailed by 12 points at halftime, rallied all the way back to take a four-point lead in the second half, but came up just short in a 72-70 defeat at the hands of Taylor University in the championship matchup of the 32nd Annual Ivanhoes Classic on Saturday afternoon at Odle Arena.
Devon Carter (SR/Clayton, Ohio) led the way for the Bears (6-6) with a team-high 19 points. Nick Tingle (SR/Clayton, Ohio) added 12 points, while Nick Gouch (SR/Columbus, Ohio) tacked on 10. The Bears shot an impressive 27-of-53 (50.9 percent) from the field.
Taylor (6-6) however was just a bit better from the field, connecting on 23-of-40 attempts, including hitting 14-of-23 shots from long range. Keaton Hendricks led the way for the Trojans with 23 points.
Shawnee State struggled mightily in the opening half, falling into an 8-1 hole in the opening minutes. The Trojans continued to put on the pressure, extending the lead to a much as 39-22 with less than four minutes remaining.
The Bears began to cut into the deficit over that final four minutes, closing the half on a 9-4 run to head into the locker room down 12.
To open the second half, Shawnee State wasted no time shaving down the deficit even more. By the 11-minute mark – when Conor Markins (FR/Ironton, Ohio) connected for three – SSU pushed the Taylor lead down to one.
An Ethan Moffatt (SR/Somerville, Tenn.) free throw brought the game even for the first time all game with 10:22 to play, and back-to-back buckets from Nick Gouch gave the Bears their first lead at 8:53.
The two squads then went back and forth over the closing minutes, with Taylor leading by as many as six, while the Bears could never take more than a one-point advantage.
In the closing seconds, Shawnee State forced a turnover and to create a last-second attempt down by two points with 10 seconds remaining. Dante Dunston (SR/Dallas, Texas) got a look in the paint, but the shot fell away to bring the game to a close at the 72-70 final.
The Bears are back in action on Dec. 16 in the midst of a six-game road trip. On Wednesday, the club will head to Buckhannon, W.Va. to take on West Virginia Wesleyan. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.