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Griffins pressure Shepherd into defeat

By Staff | Dec 27, 2019

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Both teams had played the night before. Shepherd had been at home, and on Saturday was at home again. Seton Hill had been on the road on Friday and was on the road for a second straight night.

Which team had any right to claim to be tired? If anybody, it would have been once-beaten Seton Hill.

And yet the Griffins used a menacing full court press to break free from the Rams in the last quarter to register a 102-85 win in a PSAC match.

Seton Hill led by a mere 68-65 count after three periods — much the same as it had in scraping out leads of 19-17 and 48-44 after the first and second quarters.

It was a trapping defense deep in Shepherd’s backcourt that swallowed the Rams and their hopes of registering a high-quality conference win.

Turnovers and mostly contested shot-attempts that saw the Rams cede 34 points in the game’s final quarter.

The 68-65 lead Seton Hill had managed after three quarters was quickly expanded as it had the Rams reeling. Finally sending Shepherd back in its rear view mirror, the Griffins made 12-of-16 field goal attempts and all eight of their free throws in the last period.

After losing at the Butcher Center the night before to nationally-ranked Indiana, Shepherd saw its overall record dip to 8-3 and slip to 2-3 in PSAC games. Seton Hill moved along to 9-1 overall and 4-1 in league games.

Another clear reason for Seton Hill’s success was its 39-32 rebounding advantage.

Scoring the first nine points of the night kick-started Seton Hill. But then Shepherd ran off seven straight points a little later in the first quarter, and the game’s overall competitive nature took hold.

It was a four-point game at the half. And a razor’s-edge, three-point Griffin lead after three periods.

Even with Sydney Clayton scoring with a variety of inside moves, Shepherd was stone-cold from the perimeter with its last-quarter firing, going 1-for-6 from long range. Clayton had 34 points and 12 rebounds.

Even in squeezing out all the reasons and advantages Seton Hill managed, it was the fullcourt press with two Griffins clamping Shepherd point guard Abby Beeman that was the definitive force behind the move-away win.