The Shawnee State Bears (10-19, 4-12) could not hold on to a second half lead as the RedStorm from Rio Grande (13-17, 4-12) defended their home floor and came out 62-54 winners and evened the series at 1-1 on the season. The Red Storm outscored the Bears 20-9 in the final 8:42 of the ballgame.
Shawnee State controlled the first half throughout. After three short lead changes, two free throws from Tyler Morgan (Hammersville, OH) gave the Bears an 8-7 lead and never trailed again in the half. A 3-pointer from Tyler Boyles (Raceland, KY) at the 13:33 mark put Shawnee State up four and two minutes later a layup from Boyles gave the Bears their largest lead in the half of seven.
Shawnee State entered halftime leading 33-27 shooting 40 percent from the field and 3-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Up six, the Bears came out in the second half looking to control Rio Grande. A layup from Mark Bryant (Milford, OH) quickly gave Shawnee State an eight point lead only to see the RedStorm battle back and get it within three with 13:24 remaining.
After a free throw from Boyles at the 9:07 mark, giving the Bears a 44-39 advantage, Rio Grande got a 3-pointer from Jermaine Warmack and another 3-pointer from Turrell Morris to give them their first lead of 45-44 for the first time since the 16:07 mark in the first half.
The RedStorm did not give the lead back as they went on a 20-9 run to close out Shawnee State. Rio Grande extended their lead to 11 in the final minute before closing out the game 62-54.
Boyles led the Bears with 24 points on 4-for-9 from beyond the arc and 8-of-15 shooting overall. Morgan added 18 points and 15 rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
For the game both Shawnee State and Rio Grande shot 33 percent from the floor. The Bears made 5-of-20 from long distance as the RedStorm shot 50 percent from beyond the arc. Rio Grande out shot Shawnee State at the free throw line making 14-23 compared to 11-16 for the Bears.
Shawnee State and Rio Grande meet again on Monday, February 27th in the Opening Round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament. The Bears host the RedStorm in Waller Gymnasium at 5:00 p.m.