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In the NAIA Game of the Week No. 16 Georgetown College women's basketball team needed the road win over No. 10 Shawnee State. It would give the Tigers (17-8, 9-4 Mid-South Conference) a tie for second with the Bears (21-4, 11-2) and a season sweep of SSU.
GC had every answer when Shawnee was in Georgetown and Saturday the Bears had the same in Portsmouth. After five ties and four lead changes in the first 20 minutes, SSU never trailed in the second half for a 68-59 win and a cushion in the conference race.
"We couldn't get into a flow and when you are on the road that is going to happen," said Georgetown coach Andrea McCloskey. "I don't think this is a step back, though, of our play on the road. I can look back at this game and be pleased."
The Tigers are 4-5 this season in true road games and 3-5 against teams ranked in the Top 25 Coaches Poll. The loss snaps a four-game winning streak and five of the past six games.
Andrea Howard led the Tigers with 23 points and Gina Beining seemed on pace for another big day when foul trouble dampened her rhythm.
"I thought Gina played a heck of a game," McCloskey said. "She almost had a double-double going against several very physical post players in Alex Pohl and Schera Sampson. She and Lizza (Jonas) got into foul trouble and that really hurts us. We are thin on the bench in the post position."
Beining finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Despite uncharacteristic turnovers in the first half, GC was in a 22-22 tie with less than five minutes to the break. Then SSU came to life for a 14-2 run and eventually led 36-27 at the half.
"We had 14 turnovers in the first half that didn't help our flow today," McCloskey said. "We were making passes to teammates not there or really over passing the ball. Those things can come back to haunt you."
The Tigers clawed within two twice in the first 10 minutes of the second half, 40-38 and 46-44, but a 16-8 run gave the Bears a double-digit lead heading into the final three minutes.
"We knew coming in here it would be a tough game and it was," McCloskey said. "A couple of bounces go our way and this is a game that has a last second shot or overtime to get a win. Now we have a tough week ahead of us on which we focus."
Georgetown will welcome No. 5 University of the Cumberlands to town Thursday for a 6 pm tip and then Lindsey Wilson College Saturday on Senior Day. Tip for that battle is set for 2 pm.