INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – Shawnee State fell behind early in the first quarter, but strong performances from the trio of Ashton Lovely (FR/Jamestown, Ohio), Ali Zieverink (SR/West Chester, Ohio) and Madison Ridout (SO/Jackson, Ohio) led the Bears to a 77-69 victory over Langston University on Wednesday afternoon at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
Lovely finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Zieverink and Ridout finished with 18 points each. SSU was suffocating on defense down the stretch allowing Langston to only shoot 33 percent from the field.
Langston opened the scoring in this one, but Zieverink was quick to answer for the Bears bringing the game even at two. The two teams battled back-and-forth leading to five lead changes in the quarter. SSU finished strong in the first quarter, taking a one-point lead on a bucket from Jonessa Moore (JR/Cincinnati, Ohio) and then stretching the lead thanks to a triple from Hannah Miller (FR/Coal Grove, Ohio) and a jumper from Ridout. At the end of the first quarter Shawnee State led, 19-13.
The two teams traded baskets early in the second quarter before the Bears began to pull away. SSU went on a quick 7-0 run at the 6:55 mark thanks to a bucket from Ridout and 5 consecutive points from Lovely. The Bears saw their lead grow to 15 before Langston closed the half on a run to reduce the deficit to four.
The second half opened on a three from Langston reducing the Bear’s lead to one. Zieverink hit two free throws, bumping the lead back to three. Moore scored 6 points in the third quarter, as Shawnee tried to increase the gap, but Langston was able to hang around trailing 60-54 going into the final quarter.
With 6:29 remaining in the game Langston reduced Shawnee’s lead to one. SSU kicked things into a second gear, going on an 8-2 run with 4:23 remaining. Abby Feuchter (SR/Cincinnati, Ohio) made four free-throws down the stretch to secure a 77-69 Shawnee State victory.
Moore provided a strong spark off the bench finishing with 12 points and five rebounds. SSU finished the game shooting 16-19 from the foul-line.
The Bears are back in action Friday afternoon, facing off against Baker University who defeated Columbia College, 80-71, in the opening round. Tip-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. ET.