Frankfort, Ky. – Shawnee State men's basketball saw their season come to an end on Friday afternoon, falling in the Mid-South Conference Tournament to #1 seed Life 60-57.
The Bears would get down early, and would trail for most of the first half. Life would lead by as many as 11 points, but an 8-6 end of the half would cut the SSU deficit to 29-20, capped by a late layup by Tamal Watkins (FR/Columbus, Ohio) through traffic. Watkins had six points at halftime to lead SSU into the break. Poor shooting doomed Shawnee State to a halftime deficit, as the Bears shot just 30.8% from the field, including 0-11 from three.
Shawnee State would begin a frantic comeback, starting with Jayllen Carter (JR/Portsmouth, Ohio)'s hot start to the second half. Carter would score 11 points, Jacob Daniels (SR/Peebles, Ohio) and Frederick Moore (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) would both get big baskets, and Shawnee State would cut the lead to one. However, Life would be able to push the lead back out to seven by the second half media timeout, 53-46.
The Bears wouldn't go quietly and would continue to chip away, until Carter found Watkins for an open three to tie the game at 57-57 with less than a minute to go. Life's Dalarian Williams would hit an acrobatic shot off the glass to give Life back a two-point lead and Life would take a timeout with 28.6. Tamal Watkins would be fouled and go to the free throw line but missed both shots, and after Life hit one of two on the other end, the Bears would not get a shot off on the last play to fall 60-57.
Dalarian Williams had a game-high 21 points to lead Life. Zach Landis would add a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The loss ends Shawnee State's season as the Bears finish with a record of 9-19, and were 2-12 in the Mid-South Conference. Life improves to 20-10 and will play in the Mid-South Conference Tournament semifinals on Saturday evening.
The loss is also the end of an era for Shawnee State as Jeff Hamilton will step down as Shawnee State head basketball coach following the season. SSU's associate head coach Delano Thomas will take over the program for the 2017-18 season.
For all Shawnee State basketball news, stay tuned to ssubears.com.