By Dustin Semore
FHU Sports Information Director
The (RV) Shawnee State (Ohio) University Bears bucketed 10 3-pointers while tallying 18 second-chance points to hand No. 8 Freed-Hardeman University’s Lions a 76-6
A slow start for the Lions (16-4, 12-2 MSC) saw FHU fall behind 11-2 with 16:43 to go in the first half. Alex Rush’s 3-pointer would help spark some offense, as the Lions went on a 12-0 run to overtake the Bears and claim a 21-15 lead at the midway point of the half. As run gave way to run, an eight-point swing by SSU flipped the script to put the Bears on top by one point. A layup from JaQuan Lax with 1:12 leveled the score at 31-31, but a 3-pointer from the Bears was followed by a layup within 20 seconds to take a five-point advantage. Ryley McClaran hit a 3-pointer with 30 ticks remaining to give way to the halftime break seeing the Lions trail 36-34.
Hunter Scurlock’s layup to start the second half knotted up the affair, but the Shawnee State (13-7, 9-5 MSC) shooters zeroed from long range to swing momentum the Bears’ way with three 3-pointers. Between 3-pointers and alley-oop dunks, the Waller Gymnasium was full of Shawnee State energy. For more than five minutes, the Lions most scored their points from the free-throw line, going 1-7 from the floor. A set of layups would help the Lions, but ultimately it was too little as Shawnee State was victorious 76-66.
SSU out-rebounded the Lions 39-15, including an 11-0 disparity on the offensive glass. The Lions’ defense continues to impress, as they tallied 22 points off of the 12 turnovers they forced.
Ryley McClaran was 4-7 from 3-point land, helping him to a team-high 18 points. The FHU point guards in JaQuan Lax and JJ Wheat both connected for 12 points, with Wheat swiping a team-high four steals.