Rams skid off winning path with four straight losses
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After shoving its overall record to 10-6, Shepherd floundered, losing four consecutive conference games and seeing its record dive to 10-10 and its conference mark slip to 6-8.
A loss in Buckhannon to West Virginia Wesleyan began the Rams’ troubles. And then a loss at the Butcher Center to Fairmont, which is vying with West Liberty for the Mountain East Conference’s regular season championship, was the second of the four straight defeats.
West Liberty then dealt the Rams an 84-76 loss. The Hilltoppers went to 16-2 overall and 12-1 in the league.
Derek McKnight had 18 points for the Rams and Maliq Sanders dropped in 14 points.
West Liberty outrebounded the Rams, 40-35.
The most stinging of the losses was at Wheeling Jesuit, where the Cardinals won, 78-72. Wheeling Jesuit entered the game with a 2-17 record and only 1-12 mark in conference play.
Shepherd reserves Jon Preston and Jarrell Jones combined to shoot 10-for-18 from the field and together score 27 points.
The Rams as a team were 24-for-56 from the floor (44 percent) and out-rebounded the Cardinals, 32-27.
The Cardinals balanced their scoring with five players in double figures.
Wheeling Jesuit committed only four turnovers, while the Rams had just five turnovers.
Shepherd had eight conference games remaining in the 2018-19 regular season, enough time to move ahead in the standings if it can once again find the same methods and combinations that had carried it to a 10-6 record and a tie for fifth place in the mid-January league standings.