By Dustin Semore
FHU Sports Information Director
The Freed-Hardeman University Lions watched as a desperation 3-pointer from the (RV) Shawnee State (Ohio) Bears found its way into the net as the final buzzer sounded. Thankfully for the men in maroon, the Lions maintained a four-point edge, seeing FHU claim their second conference victory 74-73.
The Lions (3-2, 2-0 MSC) were off and running at a blistering pace, going on a 16-2 run to start the game, giving FHU a 14-point advantage midway through the opening frame. In that hot start, Ryley McClaran drained a 3-pointer, as did JJ Wheat. Hunter Scurlock was fouled on a dunk, sending him to the line where he successfully converted the old-fashioned three-point play. To their credit, the Bears never waivered, dropping a pair of triples of their own to go along with a steal and score to stay alive. Both teams had ample opportunity to shoot from the charity stripe, combining for 50 attempts, where the Bears make three straight to draw within one. It was a three-pointer that ultimately completed the first-half comeback, allowing the Bears to head to the locker room leading the Lions 31-30.
Again, a fast start out of the half helped the Lions flip to script to use an eight-point unanswered streak to take a 43-36 lead over Shawnee State (2-4, 0-2 MSC). The Bears would crash the offensive boards, smothering FHU with a 15-5 offensive rebound margin. SSU took advantage of those offensive rebounds, connecting for 15 second-chance points. Three of those second-chance points came from long range to give the Bears a one-point lead at 47-46 with 13:01 left in the contest. Scurlock weaved through traffic to lay in what was eventually the game-winning goal, but it was a steal from Geraldo Lane that brought the crowd to their feet with a dunk to help give the Lions the momentum needed to hold off the Bears for a 74-73 win.
Hunter Scurlock recorded his first double-double of the young season, bucketing 13 points while pulling down a team-high 11 boards. JaQuan Lax led the Lions in the scoring column with 15 points, while Ryley McClaran’s 7-for-10 night from the free-throw line helped him to a 14-point final. Peyton Law joined the double-digit club with 13 points.