Christmas vacation provides break for Shepherd teams
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After beginning its season with six consecutive home games, the Shepherd men had a 5-1 record.
Playing on the road for the first time, the Rams absorbed a 106-101 loss at Glenville and then lost a high-scoring, 96-94, verdict at once-beaten West Liberty.
With a 2-3 conference record, the Rams returned home to see winless Wheeling Jesuit. Shepherd kept the Cardinals winless when they stopped the Cardinals, 81-74, to up the overall record to 6-3 and the Mountain East Conference mark to 3-3.
Currently, the Rams are 6-1 at home and 0-2 on the road.
Senior forward/center Winston Burgess is averaging a team-leading 19.4 points a game. Burgess also leads the Rams with his 8.4 rebounds per game.
Senior guard Derek McKnight averages 19.2 points a game with guard Thomas Lang scoring at an 18.6 clip. Lang is making 90 percent of his free throws.
Just elevated to the role of starter for the first time versus Wheeling Jesuit, freshman Jon Preston is averaging 10.1 points a game. Preston is converting 93.8 percent of his free throws.
The Shepherd women also played their first six games at home in the Butcher Center. Like the Shepherd men, the women’s first road game was at conference rival Glenville, and the Rams fell, 111-103, to the once-beaten Pioneers.
In another road game at West Liberty, the Rams were ambushed, 96-72, by the Hilltoppers.
Back at the Butcher Center after a brief two-game road swing, the women stopped Wheeling Jesuit, 87-70, to improve their overall record to 4-5 and show a 2-4 record in the Mountain East Conference.
The women are 4-3 at home and 0-2 on the road.
Sydney Clayton paces the Shepherd scorers with an 18.9 average, while collecting a team-leading 7.7 rebounds a game.
Senior Kayla Tibbs is scoring 18 points per game, and senior point guard Kari Lankford scores 11 points per outing. Lankford was credited with 16 assists in the recent win over Wheeling Jesuit.
Following just one game for each team from now until 2019, both squads will pick up with Mountain East Conference games until the season closes in late February.