Charleston scoring run capsizes Shepherd
CHARLESTON — Just before halftime of its basketball season opener against the University of Charleston, Shepherd had a six-point lead. But then the Rams missed their next seven shots, and spent the intermission listening to instructions on how they could improve on what was then a five-point deficit.
There was no improvement!
Charleston scored the first 13 points of the second half, and then set sail to a very comfortable 71-60 win over the guard-oriented Rams. Charleston twice led by 21 points before emptying its bench in the last minutes.
The Rams had been outpointed, 26-1, in an arid eight-minute span that bridged the first and second halves.
Active small forward Devon Robinson joined guards Drew Rackley, Seth O’Neal and Keith Williams in providing the Golden Eagles with secure ball handling, floor generalship and scoring. Shepherd had much the same guard-oriented plan, but matched the Golden Eagles for only about 15 minutes before falling prey to the steadier play of the Mountain East Conference team.
When the Charleston guards weren’t doing their damage, center Lamont McManus scored inside against Kyle Daggett.
Daggett and point guard Thomas Lang were almost silent throughout all of the first half. And Charleston led, 36-31, after its change-the-game minutes just before the half ended.
After its sprint-start to the second half, it was Charleston sailing along with a 49-31 lead.
The Golden Eagles improved their lead to 54-33 and still had a 67-46 advantage with only 3:58 to play.
No help came from the Shepherd rebounders, who only rarely found an offensive rebound and saw the Golden Eagles have nine more when the game was over.
Charleston had performed like the more experienced team — which it was — and gradually ground out more offense than the younger Rams could manage.