Shawnee State advances to Elite 8
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Earning the program’s first-ever national tournament berth, and a trip to Kansas City last season, EJ Onu was as disappointed as any to learn that the opportunity had been snatched from his grasp. With the chance to finally play in the heart of the NAIA’s realm a year and six days later, the senior big man and Mid-South Conference Player of the Year made sure to make his first appearance count.
Held without a field goal over the first 2:07 of the contest, Shawnee State got eight consecutive points from Onu to start the game, then saw their 6-11 center from Cleveland dominate the defensive end of the floor as his 10 points and eight blocks led the Bears to a 25-22 halftime lead.
SSU continued to extend its lead behind the dominating efforts of Onu, who ultimately matched his career-high with 29 points and notched 10 rebounds and 10 blocks to go along with that mark for his second triple-double of the 2020-21 campaign in a 69-59 victory over Bethel (Kan.) in the NAIA National Championship Round of 16 presented by Ballogy, which is being held at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo.
The Bears will take on 13-seeded Jamestown (N.D.) Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT in Kansas City in the Round of 8 -- with the winner going to Monday’s Fab Four contest at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
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