PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (Men's Basketball) – Devon Carter (SR/Clayton, Ohio) scored a season and game-high 21 points, as the Shawnee State men's basketball team used a 12-0 run during a five-minute stretch in the second half to run away from Taylor University in a 77-63 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Frank & Janis Waller Gymnasium.
The victory – which came in the final contest of the calendar year – marked the first for the Bears since a Dec. 11 contest with Clarke University at the 32nd Annual Ivanhoes Classic on the campus of Taylor. The following day, Taylor defeated SSU, 72-70, to begin the three-game skid.
Tuesday was a different contest, however, as – along with Carter's 21 points – Nick Tingle (SR/Clayton, Ohio) and Dante Dunston (SR/Dallas, Texas) each added 17 points. Nick Gough grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, and Carter dished out five assists. The Bears shot an impressive 53.3 percent in the game.
The game was won, though, at the charity stripe, as SSU connected on 22-of-33 attempts compared to just 8-of-11 from the Trojans. In fact, all of Dunston's six second-half points came from the free throw line, while Carter was 8-of-8 during the same stretch.
The two squads were back-and-forth for much of the early going, trading leads seven times and locking the score another six in the first 15 minutes. With 4:18 to play in the first half, Dunston would connect on a layup to put the Bears ahead, 25-23. The home squad would never again trail.
SSU went into the locker room with a 34-25 advantage, closing the half on an 11-2 spurt.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Taylor cut right back into the deficit, closing the gap to 34-33 over a two and a half minute stretch. The game would be as close as two points with as few as 11:19 to play, when Lane Vander Hulst connected on a triple – his third in less than three minutes.
A jumper from Kyle Stidom two minutes later would be the final bucket for the Trojans over the next five minutes. Shawnee State used three pointers from Tingle, Dunston and Conor Markins (FR/Ironton, Ohio) – along with a jumper from Tingle and four free throws from Dunston – to surge ahead and take control of the game, 63-48 with 4:34 remaining.
The lead would never again drop below double figures, as the Bears brought an end to the year with the 77-63 victory.
Shawnee State finished the game 24-of-45 from the field, including connecting on 7-of-17 from three-point range, a season high. The Bears also shot a season-high 33 free throws, en route to its second-highest point total of the year.
The Bears now begin preparations to open 2016 with a Mid-South Conference bout versus No. 2 Georgetown College on Jan. 7. The game marks just the second this season versus against a ranked opponent and fourth conference matchup. Tip-off for the contest at Waller Gymnasium is slated for 8 p.m.