PORTSMOUTH, Ohio – It was a very evenly played game between the University of Pikeville women’s basketball team and Shawnee State (Ohio) on Thursday, but sometimes it comes down to the little things and on Thursday it was SSU’s free throws helping it to a 78-71 win.
Shawnee State edged UPIKE on the glass 53-45 and neither team could buy a three with SSU shooting slightly better at 18.2 percent to paint a picture of how rough it was from deep. But while UPIKE hit just 6-of-12 free throws, the winning Bears knocked down 18-of-25 to prove the difference.
Cheyenne Madden paced Pikeville with 20 points and six rebounds, while Khalilah Quigley added 13 and five. Kandice Porter and Callisha Johnson joined them in double figures with 12 and 10 points, respectively, but Johnson was just 5-of-22 from the field and missed all five 3-point attempts.
Alannah Sheets led all scorers for SSU with 22 while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists. Diane Abbady chipped in with a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.
UPIKE shot just 37.3 percent from the field and SSU tallied a slightly better 42.6-percent mark. Using its excellent length and athleticism, SSU also blocked 11 shots to protect anything close around the basket.
The score was tied eight times in the first half with Pikeville leading by as many as two points and Shawnee State reaching its largest lead at halftime, up 35-29.
SSU never trailed in the second half, instead leading by 12 early in the half. But with four minutes to go it was tied 66-66 after a 22-10 UPIKE run over an eight-minute span. SSU responded by going 10-of-13 from the stripe the rest of the way to go back up by nine in the final 20 seconds.
UPIKE is back in action at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday at Rio Grande (Ohio).